Think you know Joe, think again?

September 30, 2019

Meet Joe McCarthy, our fearless leader of the Product Training Center. Joe is very passionate about training and believes our happiest customers are our trained customers. Please take a minute to learn more about one of the most charismatic guys at Universal…

Joe McCarthy was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island until he chose to go to Oswego State for college.  A self-proclaimed planner, Joe had a path for himself to complete college and then go back to his high school where his Tech Ed teacher, Mr. Glassman, was going to retire and hand over his lesson plans to Joe to carry on as the new Tech Education teacher.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans… Joe’s got upended.

Joe. . . doing what he does BEST!

Joe’s college roommate’s father (Doug Beard) was a well-known and influential Tech Ed teacher here in Endwell, NY.  Mr. Beard also wrote curriculum for Oswego State.  At the same time, as fate would have it, Universal Instruments’ Pat Wrobel was looking to hire a fresh-out-of-college team member to be a trainer in the Training Center. This new trainer was to learn from the Senior Trainers (17 trainers in the Training Center at the time) and leverage their experience.

Joe capturing the students’ attention through hands-on learning!

Getting the go-ahead for this pilot project, Pat reached out to several people looking for recommendations for this position. One of those people was Doug Beard, who recommended his son, Dave, and Dave’s roommate, Joe McCarthy. So, Joe got invited for an interview at Universal. On his way home from graduation, Joe had his first interview literally right out of college.

Our happiest customers are our trained customers!

By the time Joe got home to his parent’s house in Long Island, there was already a message waiting for him to come back for a second interview.  There were about 20 people who interviewed, and in the end, Joe was one of two people that were offered the position! After weighing the options before him – to work at Universal or to go back to his high school and take the Tech Ed position waiting for him – Joe opted to start his career at Universal as a Level 1 Trainer (and we’re so glad he did. . .)

Training has a direct impact on productivity!

Joe moved up the ranks, becoming a Senior Trainer and in 1998 was awarded what Joe calls his “proudest achievement at Universal”, the title of Trainer of the Year. Joe then took a slight detour at Universal and became a Field Engineer in Field Services, until coming back to be a knowledge multiplier as a Senior Level Trainer once again.

In 2011, Joe was promoted to Training Manager. Since this time, Joe and his team have built the Universal Training Center into one of the finest in the industry. It offers approximately 100 classes each year to students around the globe, in the subjects of Operations, Maintenance, Mechanical, Electrical, and Advanced Programming.  It’s also staffed with experts that are extremely knowledgeable in their individual curriculums and with a true passion for training and learning!

Talented Corporate Training Team

New this year, Joe and his team have introduced e-Learning; otherwise known as training for the “Modern World”. The e-Learning program gives students the ability to train 100%  on-line, is available 24 x 7 and is cost-effective for new hires and customers who have travel restrictions.

However, e-Learning is not a substitute for live training, which offers students the unique opportunity to obtain hands-on performance-based skills.  During live training, students are trained and then assessed on their retention skills through knowledge testing and skills assessments. Students who complete the course successfully receive a Certificate of Completion.  “Training is advantageous to all our customers because machines do not operate efficiently without trained personnel working with them.” – a McCarthy mantra. 

Student receiving certificate of training completion. Pictured with our C.E.O. Jean-Luc Pelissier (right side)

In what free time Joe has, he likes spending with his family, including his wife, and his beautiful daughters. They enjoy cooking, playing sports, hanging outdoors, and playing games like Melbourne, Family Feud, Heads Up and Phase 10.

Joe prides himself in working at Universal Instruments, stating that he enjoys the collaboration and teamwork that he shares with his associates, as well as helping people excel at their jobs (the definition of good training). He values having been at Universal for over 22 years, and truly feels that he has grown up here and that he loves it because “Universal is my second family”.


To learn more about the Product Training Center, and the course offerings (including e-Learning), please visit

We hope you enjoyed this interview with Joe.  Stayed tuned for more, as we launch a new series about the unique personalities that make up the People of U!

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