Sample Projects


Lifting Economic Prospects for Low-Income Parents: Origami Works partnered with Christopher House, a network of early childhood programs and a K-8 charter school, to develop a strategy for enhancing the career prospects of student's parents and other family members. So far we have offered training, tools, and support to enable Family Support team members to offer more effective career development coaching. A future phase of the project is expected to provide direct programming to parents. 


Making Career Pathways for Youth More Visible: Origami Works built a web-based directory of quality career pathway programs for youth who choose not to go directly to four-year colleges after graduating high school. The directory features programs in many fields that require two years or less of training,  and can lead to jobs that pay well. Origami Works partnered with the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, along with many members of that organization as well as youth training providers, and launched the first version of the site within six months. 


COVID-19 Information for the Workforce Development Community: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Chicago, Origami Works partnered with the Chicago Jobs Council to produce a website with helpful information about how to navigate the situation for workforce agencies, job seekers, and others. 


Summer Internships for First-Generation College Students: Origami Works is currently leading a project to increase the number of paid summer internships available to first-generation college students living in Chicagoland. Interns will be hosted by local non-profits and/or for-profit employers. Origami will provide support and professional development programming for the cohort of interns. 


Guide to Workforce Service for Employers: Origami is working with the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance as well as Chicago / Cook County's Bureau of Economic Development to make the variety of workforce services and funds available to employers more transparent. A website (coming Q1 2021) will offer solutions and referrals to employers seeking help with talent challenges, especially entry level talent. 




Origami Works is proud to provide funding to and collaborate with many Chicagoland workforce development organizations and educational institutions, including our partners below.

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" amazing experience both personally and professionally. Origami Works Foundation took on the idea that was once only a dream for many people and made it a reality in a matter of months. Their hard work, extreme focus, and excellent project management skills ... allowed them to corral many stakeholders from various sectors to create a user-friendly site that addresses gaps in the region's workforce and post-secondary planning tools.

January Miller, Embarc

In partnering with Origami Works, we were able to create a workforce development program strategy that aligned with and built on our existing mission and programs. They have provided a deep knowledge of best-practices, supported our team with project management and implementation, and connected us to experts in the field to achieve more than we ever could on our own. Every step of the way, the team was inclusive in decision-making, prioritized the needs of our children and families, and used data to guide our approach for expanding our two generation model.

Gloria Kuechenberg, Christopher House