The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is pleased to announce the establishment of the Rigger Fest Group Endowed Scholarship by the “riggers” who are working on the John W. Turk Power Plant Project. The $10,000 endowment will establish a scholarship for a non-traditional technical and/or industrial student who desires to further his/her education. Preference will be given to a student who has been laid off from work and/or has been injured on the job. UACCH often helps injured workers retrain for new opportunities in the work force.

The group of riggers, who have the motto “Working hands helping needy hands,” have taken it upon themselves to raise funds for organizations and individuals in need. The concept started when several workers wanted to have a barbeque cook-out one weekend and from there, they have had fundraising events which have contributed over $50,000 to help individuals and organizations in the community. Jannie Moten, a UACCH employee who is also a part of the Rigger Fest Group has played an important part in helping raise these funds and determine were the funds will be invested in the community. Moten said, “It is an honor to be a part of such a great group of hard working and caring individuals. When the group began looking for a place to invest somewhere that would be ongoing the endowed scholarship became the obvious choice for us”

Robert Chewning, pictured here with UACCH Chancellor Chris Thomason, is a Crane and Rigging Superintendent on the Turk Project. He has a crew of 26 workers under his supervision and is pleased to be able to provide a scholarship for individuals to further their educations. Chewning said, “I am pleased that we are able to establish a scholarship that will benefit people and families of this area long after the John W. Turk Power Plant is complete and we have moved to our next job.” Chewning’s crew is a part of the more than 1800 workers that are currently working on the Turk Power Plant and have all played a vital role in raising funds for this scholarship.

UACCH Chancellor Thomason celebrated with Chewning and family during the recent signing of the Endowment Agreement. Thomason said, “UACCH is honored to accept such a meaningful gift from such a dedicated group of hard working men and women. While southwest Arkansas may be only a temporary home for some of the Turk workers, you all are making a permanent impact on our individual lives and regional economy. The generosity of the Riggers and the focus of the endowed gift represents another “Turk” benefit that could not have been foreseen.”

For more information about UACCH and the College, which can be your bridge to a brighter future, visit the college website at

Pictured Left to Right: Jannie Moten, UACCH Chancellor, Chris Thomason, Robert Chewning, Jo Chewning, and Lynn Chewning.