Military feature: Cannon spouse embraces Census position

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

When her husband was assigned to Cannon Air Force Base in October of last year, Bethany Mueller finished teaching a semester at a community college and moved to Clovis in January.

She said being uprooted from Florida to New Mexico was a challenge for her, but her job with the Census Bureau helped with the transition.

“Coming here from another state, this has been a great way to get to know people in the community and just the area,” Mueller said.

Mueller was hired as a crew leader for the Census in February. A month later, she was promoted to field operations supervisor.

Elmer Maestas with the Census Bureau said Mueller’s resume and test scores stood out from her co-workers.

“This (the census) is a tough operation for us,” Maestas said. “We choose the very best people that have proved themselves out in the field.”

Maestas said Mueller is the first Cannon spouse to hold the FOS position in this area since he began working for the Census in 1990. He said the position is usually held by a Clovisite.

“We’re sure she’ll be successful,” Maestas said. “She’s shown that she wants to do that.”

As a field operations supervisor, Mueller is in charge of training and supervising crew leaders. Crew leaders are in charge of a group of enumerators, who go door-to-door collecting information from those who didn’t turn in their census form.

“At first this was just a job,” Mueller said. “But now I’ve realized it’s a really cool way to get involved with the community.”

Mueller said many people believe the Census only happens on the national level.

“People don’t realize the affect it has on the local communities. This job is a way to serve my local community. The more accurate count we can get, that means more money for our area, more resources for our area,” Mueller said.

The FOS region Mueller oversees includes Roosevelt, Curry, some of Quay, De Baca and Guadalupe counties.