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Carol and James Alishouse
Carol and James Alishouse
Carol Alishouse, 52, lives in Madison Lake, Minn., and her son James, 26, lives in Lincoln, Neb.
Job: Assistant crew leader, recruiter
Location: Minnesota and Nebraska

Carol: We had just moved to Minnesota, and I was in the library when I saw a posting for census job openings. My mother had been a census taker in 1970, and I thought it would be a fun challenge for me. I applied in February 2009 and am on my fourth assignment.

I started out as an enumerator, making sure addresses were correct, and have done two rounds as a crew leader. In a few weeks I'll start as a crew leader for the non-response follow-up operation.

I wasn't initially looking for a full-time job, but now I'm looking for employment opportunities for when the census job ends. It depends on what's available for my skills set, but I prefer something that involves research.

James: I applied to dentistry schools last year, and I was waiting to hear back when my mom called and started talking about her census job and telling me to apply. At first I ignored her, but eventually I went to take the test and apply. I got an offer and decided to take it to earn some money. I worked at the help desk, and handled technology issues.

I didn't end up getting in to dentistry schools to start in the fall, so I continued working jobs for the census. I worked in the field, and now I'm in recruiting and will be finishing up in a few weeks. It's a really nervous time for me because I've reapplied for dentistry programs, and I don't know what the future holds yet, but it's a new year.

NEXT: Michael Condron

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Last updated April 28 2010: 3:02 PM ET
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