In late 2003 and early 2004, the Census Bureau conducted the 2004 Census Test in Northwest Queens, New York, and Southwest Georgia. The 2004 Census Test was an early trial of new procedures for collecting data during the 2010 Census. The US Census Bureau wanted to ensure that the staff members who interacted with the public in Northwest Queens, New York, and Southwest Georgia had the knowledge, understanding, and sensitivity to work effectively with people from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
GP Strategies™ designed, developed, and delivered two customized, one-day training courses on cross-cultural communications and working effectively with the media. The customized cross-cultural communications training course provided the staff members with specific knowledge and skills required to work effectively with individuals and groups from a variety of population segments. The training addressed topics such as population characteristics and history, communication methods, accepted behaviors, etiquette and protocol, social structures, sensitivity issues, decision-making practices, and common terminology. In addition, the training also addressed the following more general areas related to cross-cultural communications: definition and dimensions of diversity, managing diversity in the workplace, definition and elements of culture, culturally neutral communication, negotiating across cultures, and intercultural conflict resolution. We also developed a one-day customized training course on working effectively with the media. For each one-day course, GP Strategies developed the following materials: Instructor Guide, PowerPoint slides, Student Guide, and Job Aids. We also delivered the courses in New York and Georgia. The course received very high ratings, and the participants became better prepared to work with the various racial and ethnic groups present in the Test Site areas.