People have grown accustomed to passing over the seemingly countless surveys and questionnaires that fill their inboxes or mailboxes on a daily basis. But Shelton’s own Jimmy Tickey wants that trend to end, at least once, with the 2020 Census.

Tickey, as a senior adviser to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, has been managing the state’s census preparedness, working in conjunction with census partners to ensure that Connecticut is the best counted state in the country. To aid in that effort, the census will be the first time residents can fill out forms online, along with by mail or phone.

“The census is critically important,” said Tickey. “Connecticut receives $10.7 billion yearly based on Census figures for federal programs, including Head Start, Home Heating Assistance, Medicaid, federal student loans, business and industry loans, health care centers and special education grants.

“Being counted in the census means more program funds for Connecticut, and for Shelton,” added Tickey. “On average, Connecticut receives about $2,900 for each person counted in the census. Further, the census count will determine political representation through state and federal redistricting to ensure communities have the appropriate level of representation.”

On Monday, Aug. 26, Bysiewicz joined elected officials and other community leaders at the Derby Public Library to kick off the Naugatuck Valley’s 2020 Census efforts. Bysiewicz is spearheading the statewide Connecticut Complete Count Committee (CCCC) to help direct the state’s efforts in the upcoming 2020 Census.

Roughly 22 percent of Connecticut is considered “hard to reach” communities, according to Tickey, which include multifamily homes, low-income families and minorities in large cities and rural areas, non-English speakers, and immigrant populations. One of the goals of the statewide committee is to assist municipal governments with forming Local Complete Count Committees (LCCC) to plan for a complete and accurate count at the local level.

“Governor Lamont and I are focused on economic growth and the 2020 Census will play an important role in that regard because census data is used to determine nearly $11 billion federal funding to our state each year for programs and projects that our residents depend on,” said Bysiewicz.

“We want every person to be counted but in order to achieve that we need cities and towns to prepare as well,” added Bysiewicz. “Every community faces its own unique challenges in achieving an accurate count for the census so it’s critical that municipalities create local complete count committees. I’ve been traveling across the state to encourage every town and city — no matter the size — to form their own complete count committee to plan for the 2020 Census and it’s great to add towns in the Naugatuck Valley to that growing list.”

Sharon Closius, president & CEO of the Valley Community Foundation (VCF), said that census data are critically important factors in strategic decision-making that impacts the Valley.

“I am pleased that VCF can assist with our municipalities in promoting the importance of a complete regional count,” said Closius, “and look forward to participating on the Regional Complete Count Committee in partnership with several other nonprofits serving the Lower Naugatuck Valley Region.”

“TEAM will use all of its communication channels and events to promote the 2020 Census, and is excited to partner within our local communities to ensure a complete count in our Greater Valley region,” said David Morgan, President/CEO of TEAM Inc. “Serving more than 14,000 residents in the last year alone, TEAM recognizes the critical importance of a complete count to ensure authentic representation of our Valley population as well as the critical resources and attention necessary for this growing region of the state.”

Since 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has attempted to count every U.S. resident, providing critical data on the nation’s population that helps form public policy and has a major impact on every community — including how schools are run, the quality of the transportation system and resources needed for law enforcement to operate.

Connecticut receives more than $11 billion from the federal government as a result of census numbers collected once every decade. These federal funds are used to fund vital state programs including Medicaid, Pell Grants, children’s health insurance, highway planning and construction, nutritional assistance and many more.

The U.S. Census Bureau is now accepting job applications at census.gov/fieldjobs.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com