According to the Department of Defense, total enlistment in the U.S. military is 2,869,822. Recruiters are struggling more every year to enlist young people, and only 29 percent of people aged 17 to 24 would qualify if they tried to enlist.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, who took over at the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. this summer, said Pittsburgh is a tough recruiting market for uniquely positive reasons -- low unemployment, good economy and higher-than-average education levels.
Pittsburgh youth might also be less inclined to enlist due to a decreasing veteran population to inspire them, he said.
Later on the show, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outdoor editor John Hayes takes a look at how chronic wasting disease is threatening the region's deer population. The disease, which develops from a malformed protein, has ravaged Pennsylvania deer for years now. Researchers are still learning about how to combat the spread of CWD, but at this point, not much is known.
Residents and analysts aren't sure who will fill the luxury housing development proposed for the former site of the Bloomfield neighborhood's only grocery store. 90.5 WESA's Avery Keatley reports.
WESA's Chris Potter talks to Mark Wolosik, who recently retired from his post as head of the Allegheny County election office. His career spans a half-century; during that time, he's overseen huge change in voter turnout, machine security and the willingness of poll workers to come out on election day. Now that he's retired, will he be helping out?
And Sherri Mason, professor of chemistry and chair of the department of geology and environmental science at the State University of New York in Fredonia, explains her crusade against the use of microplastics. Those little plastic beads found in body wash and shampoos have been banned in the U.S. for more than a year thanks to Mason's research, which also earned her a prestigious Heinz Awards.
90.5 WESA's Mick Stinelli contributed to this report.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.