The US Army has lowered its 2018 recruiting goal to 76,500 from 80,000 after acknowledging it can’t achieve the higher number. A strong economy and low unemployment have reduced the supply of potential recruits.

Oklahoma’s 4% unemployment rate is the lowest since 2008. Also, a state researcher observes that people who have been out of the work force are “coming back in.” Meanwhile, Idaho’s labor force has set a record high as the state also enjoys a 2.9% unemployment rate.

After years of declining enrollment in West Virginia’s public colleges, a state senator has predicted a “day of reckoning” is coming. Senator Ed Gaunch suggested the state’s flagship schools, West Virginia University and Marshall University, will need to take on more of a “lead role” while other, redundant schools may need to be consolidated. As we reported in March, a Pennsylvania state senator expressed similar–but also more dire–points when he declared his state’s public colleges were “doomed to failure.”

A Michigan business reporter dismisses the notion that the state’s middle class can once again enjoy employment in high-paying, “unskilled” manufacturing jobs. “That scenario is not going to happen,” says Paula Gardner. Although state leadership has placed an emphasis on expanding local manufacturing, Gardner believes most of the resulting jobs will be filled by automation or higher-educated, skilled employees.

While many high schools and communities offer annual spring rituals to celebrate the college enrollment decisions of graduates (especially for star athletes), Henrico County, Virginia hosted its first-time “Career and Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day.” The event recognized seniors who had committed to begin jobs or apprenticeships instead of attending college.

NBC News recognizes the trending appeal of apprenticeships and considers whether they are “the new on-ramp to middle-class jobs” in the United States. We recently interviewed Britain’s “Apprentice Finder,” Adrian Bird, to learn more about the UK’s comparably advanced adoption of apprentice programs.

A Towson University professor makes the case against state-subsidized, free tuition for community or other colleges. Richard Vatz writes, “First and most obvious, ‘free tuition’ is not free tuition; it must be paid for, and the public will have to pay for most of it.”

Through a partnership with Park University, employees in the Kansas City Chiefs organization are eligible for tuition reimbursement for any 12-month period.

Application inflation? US News offers tips for writing good “supplemental essays” (as opposed to the main essay) when required as part of the college application process.

Update: the University of Tennessee’s board approved an expansion of the system’s post-tenure review policy. Under the new plan, tenured faculty will be evaluated at least once every six years. In March, we reported that many faculty resisted the change, regarding it as undermining the concept of tenure.

An interesting map shows the “most disproportionately common majors in each state.” Generally these majors seem to mirror any distinctive aspects in a state’s economy–for example, Oklahoma has an unusually large number of majors in petroleum engineering.

Futurism alert! Inside Higher Education highly recommends the new book “Robot Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.” Not surprisingly, the book apparently claims our education system is “not moving fast enough in the face of large-scale economic change.” The reviewer comes away with the impression that “any school that is not significantly re-orienting all their teaching practices to align with the research on learning…is committing education malpractice.” Again with the robots! We encourage all readers (before panicking) to consider our skeptical assessment of futurists’ prescriptions for higher ed.