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SVP Denver Solution Session: Workforce Development at the Mosaic Community Campus

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Event description

About This Event
SVP Denver is piloting a new event series intended to create authentic community connections, education and action. For each event in this series we will meet at unique venues across Metro Denver to hear from local changemakers working on solutions to a significant challenge relevant to the city (workforce development, homelessness & housing, education equity, etc.). There will be time to network, learn and engage.

Topic & Location
This month we are focusing on the topic of workforce development and are hosting the event at the newly reimagined Mosaic Campus, an accessible community hub for quality education, economic development, and affordable living opportunities for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and ethnicities. 

Come experience the Mosaic campus and hear from organizations that provide equitable work opportunities and job training programs specifically within the food industry. Here are our presenting organizations, with more to come!

  • Work Options - Helps adult students prepare for, find and maintain meaningful careers in the food service industry by offering culinary skills training, individualized support services, life skills classes and job search support. They support individuals in the community who have struggled 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.  
  • DIRT Coffee Bar - A nonprofit social enterprise serving quality crafted coffee, food, and drinks while advocating and working towards structural changes in workforce hiring practices. By working directly with neurodivergent individuals and community employers, DIRT's mission is to support neurodivergent folks in their journey to finding meaningful employment.
  • The Kitchen Network - A nonprofit kitchen incubator empowering local food entrepreneurs by providing accessible and inclusive commercial kitchens, with support from a network of industry experts.

What we’ll do

  • Socialize and connect! Chat with interesting people who want to make an impact in Denver and get those collaborations started.
  • Listen and learn! Presenters will each have a short amount of time to speak on their work and how it is related to current issues in workforce development. There will be time to ask questions of each presenter and to catch up with them after the formal presentations.
  • Enjoy morning coffee and pastries from DIRT Coffee Bar!


  • Networking & Connection Time - coffee and pastries served! 
  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Presentation #1 + Q&A
  • Presentation #2 + Q&A
  • Closing + Commit to Action
  • Networking & Connection Time

Meet Your Speakers

  • Catharina Hughey - Catharina Hughey is the Executive Director of DIRT. She received her MSW in Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She utilizes evidence-based practices and impact-focused data to create innovative human-centered workspaces and programs that promote disability justice and economic equity.

    With over a decade of experience advocating for marginalized communities, Catharina has had the opportunity to work with a diverse clientele through her work in clinical child welfare to a consortium of foundations and policy reform.
  • Julie Stone - Julie began working at Work Options (formerly Work Options for Women) in 2010 as Director of
    Operations and is now the Executive Director. With a degree in Economics from CU Boulder, she has both extensive food service management background (from fine dining to multi-unit management) and an in-depth understanding of Work Options’ programming, students and organization.

    Throughout her career she has specialized in training individuals who have limited employment history and skills. Prior to joining Work Options, she was the Manager of the Ohio Governor’s Residence where she developed and directed an innovative hospitality program for incarcerated individuals. 
  • Jorge de la Torre - Jorge is the Director of Culinary Arts for Kitchen Network-Park Hill. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in business before going the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduation from culinary school, Jorge worked at various restaurant locations across the country and owned his own in Vail, Colorado before finding his true culinary passion to teach. 

    He joined Johnson & Wales University-Denver in 2002 as the director of culinary operations, received his master’s degree in Adult Education from Colorado State University and was promoted to the position of dean of culinary education in 2005 until the University’s closing in 2021.  He is on the board for local nonprofits We Don't Waste and Work Options.

This event is free, but we welcome donations of any amount to support SVP Denver’s execution of free community events such as this. 

Event Sponsors
Interested in sponsoring this event or future Solution Sessions? SVP Denver is always looking for local businesses or individuals who want to support us in the execution of our free, engaging community events. Please reach out to if you are interested in being an event sponsor!

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