According to Major Chris Heathscott with the Arkansas National Guard, the job loss is a result of a change in federal regulations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, VA. The new regulations no longer allow state employees to perform tasks that solely support National Guard operations.
"Unfortunately, we are dealing with a pretty sensitive issue that is going to affect a lot people here in Arkansas," said Heathscott.Some employees have been with the department for 20 years or more. They will be allowed to retire or accept severance packages based on years of service. Severance packages range between $800-$1600.
Federal legal experts say since the jobs support purely federal responsibilities, the jobs must be filled by a federal contractor under the revised regulations.
"It's not something you want to see. That's why we are working with workers. That's why we want to give them as much notice as possible," said Heathscott.