AboutWork Options

Helping people learn job-ready skills, gain confidence and secure sustainable employment in the food service industry.

Work Options helps adult students prepare for, find and maintain meaningful careers in the food service industry.

We offer culinary skills training, individualized support services, life skills classes and job search support. We’re grateful to help support individuals in the community who have struggled with finding or maintaining long-term employment and seek to support individuals who are navigating the justice system, experiencing housing insecurity, or need additional workplace skills and experience. We work in partnership with students to help each individual resolve barriers to employment so graduates can find and maintain meaningful careers. 

At Work Options, we see the drive, we acknowledge the uniqueness and skill of each individual, and use a strength-based model to support students as they resolve employment barriers, learn culinary skills and increase their self-confidence.

Our Mission

To help people overcome barriers to sustainable employment by building confidence while providing resources and culinary job training.


0 %

of Program Participants are employed after graduation


individuals obtained employment over the last25 years

0 %

of program graduates stay employed for a year or more

0 %

of justice-involved graduates retain employment for 1 year

Alleviating Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

At the beginning of the pandemic, and now, students are getting hands-on culinary skills practice (and giving back to the community) by preparing nutritious emergency meals. By 2023, Work Options staff and students have produced and distributed more than 200,000 emergency meals through community partnerships to families and individuals facing hunger and food insecurity


Work Options has been providing job-ready training for 25 years. In 1997, when our organization obtained its nonprofit certification, our agency was called Work Options for Women. In May 2021, we formally changed our name to Work Options to better reflect our agency’s long-standing commitment to providing job training for all individuals, regardless of gender.

Historically, Work Options has recruited and provided job-training for for individuals with minimal work experience or who are under-skilled. For many years, a majority of the students in our program were individuals who were transitioning off of public assistance and into the workplace. In 2018, we added an additional target population — individuals preparing to re-enter the community following incarceration.


Julie Stone

Executive Director

Angela O'Leary

Director of Operations

Tessa Houston


Tamika Simmons

Training Program and DataBASE Manager

Joe Beggs

SENior executive chef instructor

Christine Geerts

Recruitment and Community engagement Specialist

Denver Training Center

Anne Carver

Executive chef instructor

Gabi Patz

Employment Specialist

Bryan Machesky

AssistanT Kitchen Manager and Instructor

Charlene DelVescovo

Employment specialist

April Jones

Employment Specialist

The Helping Hen Food Truck & Park Hill Commissary

Jason Schmidt

Executive Chef instructor

Shannon Boehler

Floating Manager

Bishmi Washington


Mobile Culinary Classroom

Tina Wellons

mobile classroom chef instructor

Brittany Jones

Program & Chef Instructor

Board ofDirectors

Sarah Bleau, Board Chair

National Telecommunication and Information Administration

Jorge De La Torre

Kitchen Network

Tarrah Garcia

U.S. Bank

JR Garcia, Treasurer

Vectra Bank Colorado

John Imbergamo

The Imbergamo Group

Jennifer Madden, Secretary

Vectra Bank Colorado


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