Senior Program Manager
Ashley West joined the SPPG + Essman Research team as Senior Program Manager in 2022.
Ashley earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Iowa in Psychology, Speech and Hearing Science, and a minor in Spanish. She then went on to Drake University to pursue her Master’s Degree in counseling, and graduated as an RSA Scholar with a 4.0 GPA. She holds her certified rehabilitation certificate as well as being a certified benefits planner.
Ashley’s professional career includes 7 years of experience working for the State of Iowa where she specialized in disability awareness, inclusion, accessibility, and advocacy. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Ashley worked in partnership with individuals with various disabilities to determine their career goals, while identifying current and potential barriers to employment and exploring and creating solutions and accommodations to overcome those barriers.
Ashley utilized her skills of developing partnerships and building relationships as she transitioned into the role of a Business Engagement Specialist for the State of Iowa. Within this role, she worked directly with employers and community providers to identify and meet their needs. She often provided workshops and met with businesses to provide information related to disability and accommodations, diversity awareness training, and on-site retention. Ashley has a personal interest in this field from observing the effects of a traumatic brain injury on her father, and more importantly the benefits of accommodations in the workplace and the significance of work to one’s identity, mental health, and overall feeling of contribution to the community.
Ashley feels valued using her skills of relationship building and passion for advocacy and inclusion at State Public Policy Group. She appreciates the opportunity at SPPG to bring a variety of voices and perspectives together to work towards achieving a common goal.
More About Ashley
Moments I Cherish:
Annual mom and son tent camping and fishing trip every summer in eastern Iowa
A few things about me:
My goal is to hike all of the 14ers (I.e., a mountain that exceeds 14,000ft above sea level) in Colorado – I have completed seven, including one in winter!
I enjoy taking landscape photographs.
Best gift I ever received: