“Be all you can be” is a slogan of the U.S. Army and that is exactly what veteran Michael Furby has done.

Years after completing high school at Woodland Hills and tours of duty in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Reserves, and the U.S. National Guard, Furby was looking for a civilian job. He stepped into the Career Link in Johnstown, Pa., and discovered that he qualified for the Job Corps under the veteran’s disability waiver. His whole life turned around.


In January he enrolled and became a resident student at the Pittsburgh Job Corps Center in East Liberty. The challenge was being 38, living in a dorm and being around young adults aged 16-24. He adjusted and became a mentor and “big brother” to many of the students. He joined the Leadership Acad­emy on center and was given the rank of lieutenant and platoon commander. He became CPR certified, passed his OSHA certification and completed the manufacturing trade. He was part of the bio-diesel fuel production team.

Because of his interest in the green initiatives, he participated in the MOVE IT program sponsored by the Heritage Community Initiative and earn­ed more certifications: Asbestos Removal supervisor, Confined Space, OSHA 30, Lead Removal, Paint Restoration and Repair, and Deconstruction. Furby worked part-time with the Building Management Services Department during his training at the center.

On Sept. 21, he accepted a full time position as a grounds­keeper at the Job Corps facility. Furby’s advice to students is, “Never pass up what you can have now for later, because later may be too late.” He said the Job Corps became a blessing in his life. He lives in North Braddock with his wife and children.

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