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 December 3, 1999

Census bureau opens last of four centers to analyze 2000 data

PHOENIX – The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau opened the last of four data-capture centers here in a ceremony that included its private-sector partners and state officials.

Together, all four centers will process more than 150 million Census 2000 questionnaires next year. The other three centers – in Pomona, Calif., Baltimore County, Md., and Jeffersonville, Ind. – were opened earlier this year.

“One of the key components of the Commerce Department’s massive effort to ensure the most accurate census is the data-capture centers,” Commerce Secretary William Daley said in a prepared statement. “These state-of-the-art centers will give us the most accurate and timely data about who we are and how we live.”

In a statement, Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt said, “The work done by our partners TRW, National Computer Systems, Lockheed Martin and others will be an important part of the census process. It will streamline the conversion of individual answers on the census questionnaire into summary statistical data.”

Speakers at the event included John Thompson, the Census Bureau’s associate director for the decennial census, Jerry Agee, vice president and general manager, TRW Federal Enterprise Solutions, Mike Morache, president, National Computer Systems Services, Ron Vucurevich, vice president, Information Systems Integration Programs, Lockheed Martin Corp., Doug Divelbiss, data-capture center site manager, National Computer Systems, Clyde Relick, data-capture system 2000 program manager, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems, Hank Beebe, project manager, data capture services contract project, TRW Systems and Information Technology Group, and Skip Rimsza, Phoenix’s mayor.

The Phoenix center is a 258,000-square-foot facility housing 65 miles of copper cable and more than seven miles of fiber optic cable, 45 scanners, 480 keying stations and one large loading dock for questionnaire delivery. The facility will receive 1 million to 3 million forms a day from March 17 through March 31 and almost 39 million forms in total from March through August 2000.

During the entire period, more than 2,000 people will be employed in Phoenix for this operation. The site will run two eight-hour shifts, six days a week, with a possible third shift during the peak period.

For the first time, questionnaires will be processed using optical scanners that recognize handwritten responses, not just filled-in ovals or boxes. Scanned images will be processed and translated into computer code. Then the responses are transmitted electronically over secure lines to Census Bureau headquarters for statistical analysis.

PHOENIX – The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau opened the last of four data-capture centers here in a ceremony that included its private-sector partners and state officials.

Together, all four centers will process more than 150 million Census 2000 questionnaires next year. The other three centers – in Pomona, Calif., Baltimore County, Md., and Jeffersonville, Ind. – were opened earlier this year.

“One of the key components of the Commerce Department’s massive effort to ensure the most accurate census is the data-capture centers,” Commerce Secretary William Daley said in a prepared statement. “These state-of-the-art centers will give us the most accurate and timely…

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