Doug Keast is the Project Lead for the National Disability Institute with the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center, capping his career in the employment and disability arena since 1979. He has worked in sheltered workshops and coordinated a Supported Employment program for seven years. Doug provided technical assistance to County officials operating cooperative funding projects with Vocational Rehabilitation services to expand Supported Employment in Iowa. When WIA was implemented, Doug served on the team in Iowa that developed the local WIBs, facilitated strategic planning and developed the memoranda of agreement between WIBs and the service entities in their communities. He has also served as the Ticket to Work Coordinator on NDI’s DEI team, providing support to DEI states operating Employment Networks.
As a member of a collaborative state agency initiative, Doug has participated in the implementation of grant projects from CMS, RSA, SSA and DOL. He has coordinated Iowa’s implementation of the Work Incentive Grant (WIG), Disability Program Navigator initiative (DPN), Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). Through this process, he has learned that it is often more important to be together than to be right. In the course of these initiatives, Doug has been involved with the growth of the Ticket to Work as an important strategy to build capacity within a workforce system in meeting the objectives of workforce boards to include individuals with disabilities in the industry of their communities. At NDI, Doug has served as a specialist in Employment Network operation for the Disability Employment Initiative Technical Assistance Team, prior to assuming his current role as Project Director with WINTAC. He has an MS in Vocational Rehabilitation Placement from Drake University and a BS in Psychology at the University of Iowa.