A couple of weeks ago, I reminded District 11 of the deadline for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. This week I wanted to share that the deadline has been extended to August 1, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In prior years, students already receiving the award would have had enough qualifying hours prior to March 27, but that is not so in all cases this year because of our health crisis. Please make note and act as appropriate to your personal circumstances.

I also have other great news to share regarding education. The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery funds another scholarship, the Workforce Challenge Scholarship. This benefit was created in the 2017 Legislative Session. The purpose of this scholarship is to lend support to those workers training in high demand careers such as technology, industry, and especially now, healthcare. 

Students enrolled in non-credit courses in these categories may qualify for the scholarship because the award is not limited to credit-bearing programs. Minimum requirements include: a) being an Arkansas resident, b) being a high school graduate or equivalent, c) not being a current recipient of the Academic Challenge Scholarship, and d) having been accepted for admission into an approved program as defined by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADHE). 

If you think you may qualify, and you would like to review the degree list, you can do so at www.arkansashouse.org. 

Be reminded that the Arkansas Workforce Challenge is a non-renewable grant that will equal the cost of the certificate program but will not exceed $800. 

There is no application deadline, but you will need to apply at least 30 days or more prior to the start of your specified program. You can apply for either scholarship program on the ADHE website at scholarships.adhe.edu.

In other community news, I had the opportunity to march in Black Lives Matter and Unity Marches around our district this past week. 

I am excited to report that many people of all races were there to show unity and support. I encourage everyone to continue positive dialogue and action that will make a better quality of life for us all.

I am also glad to report that we did show a bit of improvement with a decline in the Arkansas unemployment rate of 1.3 percent. Additionally, the CARES Act Steering Committee approved $12,127,200 for EMS Direct Care Worker Payments. 

This will have a positive impact on over 5,000 Direct Care Workers in our state. 

We still need to take safety precautions to combat COVID-19 in Arkansas communities. Of the tests performed daily in Arkansas, about 6.5 percent of patients have positive results. I will explain more about positivity rates later. 

As of Friday, June 19, Arkansas has grown in cumulative cases totaling 14,631 with 4,705 of those being active cases. Unfortunately, we have lost 214 Arkansans and 231 remain hospitalized.

Finally, I like to share informative items that constituents might find useful. If you have questions about any legislation or the legislative process, feel free to contact me at my House of Representatives email at don.glover@arkansashouse.org or by phone at 501-682-6211. Follow me on Facebook @GloverForAR.

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