CareerWork$ New Program Manager Dion Willis Brings Perspective As Former Career Navigator and Commitment to Help “Pay It Forward” for Students, Career Navigators, and Communities

Dion Willis has spent years working with communities to help create economic opportunity, and to open up access to financial literacy and job trainings. 

“I want you to get a job, but I want you to get the job you want – in the right way.” 

Now, as a new Program Manager for the national nonprofit organization CareerWork$, Dion serves as a key support liaison to new and existing CareerWork$ community-based training partners, providing curriculum and instructional support, as well as representing the program across the country to constituents while supporting the team in achieving its national expansion. 

“This opportunity with CareerWork$ gives me a chance to bring my energy every day to pay it forward to other Instructors, Career Navigators, our students and their communities.” 

In his new role with CareerWork$, Dion – a native Chicagoan and longtime resident of Seattle – brings a unique perspective: He has served as a Career Navigator for all three CareerWork$ – BankWork$®, CareerWork$ Medical® and CareerWork$® Ready programs with our partners YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. Over his seven years at the YWCA, Dion taught various job readiness workshops, life skills curricula and has assisted numerous participants in starting their career journey while providing motivation to become the best version of themselves. 

Dion first joined YWCA as an intern, but quickly joined the organization full-time. Before long, he became a job training instructor with the YWCA Community Jobs program, mainly focusing on assisting participants receiving benefits from DSHS. When CareerWork$ Medical launched with YWCA as a training partner, Dion was its first Career Navigator. Later, he was asked to become YWCA’s Career Navigator for the BankWork$ program. 

And then came the COVID pandemic. When CareerWork$ launched Work$Ready, a free, online job readiness training to support those displaced by the pandemic in seeking new employment, Dion helped extend its impact as a navigator and back-up training instructor. 

In the early days of the pandemic, Dion spearheaded virtual job search workshops and computer skills training. Soon, he developed the concept for a virtual job fair, which grew steadily in Fall 2020 into a series of successful events. 

Now, Dion is drawing on that perspective as a Career Navigator for all three programs to grow their impact. 

“This role gives me the chance to help our Instructors and Career Navigators be successful in leading classes, to pick their brain on what works, and how we can grow our impact. Being able to do that every day? That’s absolutely awesome.” 

In his spare time, Dion enjoys listening to and creating music. He is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan and takes pride in giving back to his culture. 

###