News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Short-term training scholarship to benefit community members impacted by COVID-19

To help those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Harper College is introducing the Moving Forward Scholarship for short-term training programs.

The scholarship will benefit community members who have experienced job loss, require a career change, or have delayed college or employment due to COVID-19. It awards tuition for several Continuing Professional Education programs including contact tracing, medicinal cannabis, human resources certification preparation, real estate licensing, strategic planning, substitute teaching, truck driving and veterinary assistant training. Technology-focused programs include big data, cybersecurity, networking and web development.

Through the Moving Forward Scholarship, Harper aims to help individuals move from unemployment to employment, achieve additional training for a new career, or advance within an existing career. Special consideration will be given in guiding applicants toward relevant academic certificates and degrees to continue their studies. Scholarship recipients will also receive resources on how to conduct a successful job search. In addition, most CPE programs offer digital badges for participants to share training accomplishments with employers.

To learn more and to complete the application for fall 2020 and spring 2021 courses, please visit harpercollege.edu/pro. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis through spring 2021.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare D (prescription drugs) begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Changes in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and drugs covered for all drug plans may change from year to year.  Assistance with the enrollment process is available through the Village. Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers and staff use a tool from the Medicare website to help participants determine which plan is best for the coming year. They will also assess whether participants are eligible for extra help with plan premiums and co-pays. To schedule an appointment to enroll or review current plans,  call 847/870-5680. There is limited availability for appointments so calling sooner than later is advised.

For additional guidance you may want to look at the Medigap Report from Weiss Ratings. This is an online resource to which the Library subscribes. The Report provides users with a lengthy, customized report outlining all of the various Medicare supplements including Part D. It also includes costs and ratings for each provider. You can access this resource here.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

As we mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, now’s a good time to think about protecting your personal information while you’re online. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) blog post to learn three tips for Internet safety.

The CFPB has also created a new fraud prevention placemat and handout to help you share online safety tips with others. They even included black and white handouts you can download to make it even easier to print from home and share with friends and family!

Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Small Business Assistance program

Cook County has launched a new program that will provide support for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will offer advising for small businesses in Cook County and grants for small businesses in suburban Cook County and the unincorporated areas.

The program is offering three types of relief:

  • Group webinars  serve as guided, interactive sessions that start to get you thinking about how your business has been impacted and how you may want to pivot your business.

  • Cook County / Chicago Business Advising Program, also known as technical assistance (TA), helps you address the unique needs of your business, including acquiring new capital and customers, understanding financial, change and risk management, adjusting business models, and operating under new safety regulations.

  • Cook County Recovery Grants, $10,000 recovery grants for small businesses in suburban Cook County that have seen losses due to COVID-19.

Applications will close on October 6th (subject to change).

To understand if your business is eligible and to apply for relief, please visit: cookcountysmallbusinessassistance.com.

Want to Get the Most Out of Consumer Reports?

There is a difference between Consumer Reports online and the print version. 

Online: 

  • It is easier to find updated information on what you are searching for  
  • There is information you can get online that can’t be accessed in the print version. 

For example, let’s say you are looking at dishwashersOnline, the buyer’s guide is more detailed, and it offers a video demonstration of different dishwashers that the print version could not show you. The ratings and recommended models are there just like in the print version. You can see the predicted reliability of different models of dishwashers, but the online version does not have the owner satisfaction results, which can be a better indicator of the brand’s reliability you are considering.  

  • To access Consumer Reports Online, follow these steps: 
  • Start at www.mppl.org 
  • Consumer Reports screenshot
  • Click on the Research page: https://mppl.org/research/ 
  • Then click on Web Resources: https://mppl.org/research/web-resources/ 
  • You will need a Mount Prospect Library card number and pin to log in and use our web resources. 
  • Scroll down the page to Consumer Reports (Our web resources are in alphabetical order: 
  • Print: 
  • We have copies going back 5 years and they can be checked out. 
  • The print version does have the owner satisfaction results.  
  • It really comes down to your preference for how you want to access the information.
  • Staff at the Research Services desk are available to help you access both the online and print versions.