The University of Texas-Pan American has been designated a Census Information Center by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau as the number of these nonprofit agencies serving the disadvantaged in the United States and Puerto Rico is increased from five to 59.
Through a memorandum of understanding with the Census Bureau, the CICs will receive a full array of data products, along with training and technical support, free of charge. In return, the centers will be repositories of census data and reports for the communities they serve.
"Effective partnerships with communities and organizations were integral in making Census 2000 a 'good census,' " said Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt.
"The expansion of the Census Information Centers will enable these organizations to glean information they need from the mass of census data, particularly in underserved communities."
CICs use census data in areas such as planning, needs assessment, defining service areas, policy development, developing new business enterprises and conducting race and ethnic-related research, according to Gloria Gutierrez, Assistant Director for Marketing and Customer Liaison, who oversees the CIC program.
Besides Census 2000 data, the cooperative CIC program also will disseminate data from the American Community Survey - the economic census conducted every five years - and other demographic and economic surveys.
All the CICs are expected to be in operation when the first Census 2000 data are released in December and early next year. They will augment the Census Bureau's ongoing efforts to disseminate data to the general public.
For more information about the UTPA CIC, contact Sukhjit "S.J." Sethi, associate executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, at 956/381-3361.