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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 GRADUATES REMAIN employed 90 DAYS after graduation


individuals obtained employment over the last 27 years

0 %

of program graduates stay employed for a year or more

0 %

of justice-involved graduates retain employment for 1 year

Creating Equitable Access to Culinary Credentials
with our Award-Winning Pre-Apprenticeship

In 2023, Work Options launched a culinary Pre-Apprenticeship Program designed to create pathways to stackable industry credentials that will help our students earn more and climb the career ladder faster. Work Options also proudly accepted two Apprenticeship awards from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment’s Office of the Future of Work. 


Work Options has been providing job-ready training for more than 27 years. In 1996, 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 would benefit from upskilling. 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.

OurSocial Enterprises

Work Options operates The Helping Hen food truck and The Helping Hen Cafe, located on the Mosaic Community Campus in Denver. Our Pre-Apprenticeship students gain work experience and practice their skills while working at our social enterprises. Visit The Helping Hen Cafe at 1895 Quebec St. for breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday.

We also offer catering! Your next event can make a difference by ordering from Work Options. Fully customizable catering options available. Click the button below to inquire.


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

Gabi Patz


Anne Carver

Executive chef instructor

Charlene DelVescovo

Employment specialist

Tina Yarbrough

mobile classroom chef instructor

Brittany Jones

Employment Specialis

Shannon Boehler

Floating Manager

Cindy Vasquez

service supervisor and instructor

Bryan Machesky

AssistanT Kitchen Manager and Instructor

Board ofDirectors

Lauren O'Brien,
Board Chair

City street investors

Jorge de la Torre,
Vice Chair

Kitchen Network

JR Garcia,

Vectra Bank Colorado

Jennifer Madden,

Vectra Bank Colorado

Tarrah Garcia


Mary Mino


Paul Schutt


Tracy Todd



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