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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Milton Tyree

Published: September 10, 2019

For me, HDI has been a place to explore, learn and grow – professionally and personally.

—Milton Tyree, HDI Supported Employment Training Project (SETP)

How did you come to know HDI?

I got to know Marty Martinson (former HDI Director) and Karen Middendorf (former HDI Associate Director) when I was at Community Employment, Inc. in Crestwood, KY.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?

In the fall of 1987, Marty Martinson and Karen Middendorf invited me to apply for a position directing a three-year RSA grant designed to expand supported employment opportunities in Kentucky, launching the HDI Supported Employment Training Project (SETP) in 1988. Have had involvement with the SETP and numerous other educational and employment projects since 1988.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?

I’m most proud of the development of HDI’s Supported Employment Leadership Series, in conjunction with Marc Gold & Associates.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?

I was sitting in on Bill Mazzoleni’s interview with Marty Martinson in the summer of 1992 — for Bill’s first real job. And, I recall Bill being amazed and pleased to learn that his hourly wage at HDI was about the same as his typical weekly wage at the sheltered workshop.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI?

Devote time to know and understand people. Never settle for the status quo.