Construction firm boosts community with cash gift

Published on April 23, 2021

DENVER —  April 13, 2021 – SEMA Construction, a Colorado-based contractor whose portfolio includes numerous government contracts, has donated $86,000 to three local organizations to benefit the resiliancy of one of its recently completed projects, support the broader construction industry that it relies on for talent, and cultivate the pipeline of future construction talent to benefit the region for years to come.

“We are grateful that our firm continues to enjoy substantial success, but we also know that our success is built upon a strong civic spirit and a talented construction workforce,” said Larry Walsh, SEMA’s Design-Build Project Manager on the firm’s 39th Avenue Greenway Park Hill Detention contract with Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI). “We couldn’t be more pleased with the wide and longer-ranging impact this donation will have.”

The corporate donation is being distributed to three local organizations that align with both the firm’s and city values, Walsh said, with $10,000 going to Denver Urban Gardens to help maintain the community garden planted along the 39th Avenue Greenway project corridor; $50,000 for the cross-sector WORKNOW program housed in the Community College of Denver that currently provides supportive services to more than 2,000 construction workers to sustain and build their careers; and $26,000 for a needs-based scholarship in construction management or civil engineering at the Metro State University of Denver.

“SEMA Construction is one of the first contractors that has stepped forward to support Denver’s construction workforce without any obligation to do so,” said Marcus Johnson,  who manages a construction careers program for the city within Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO). “This is what philanthropy and good faith looks like—a strategic civic investment that celebrates community, helps sustain the firm’s legacy, and also prepares a skilled talent pool for future work.”

Founded in 2018, WORKNOW strives to recruit, support, and sustain a vibrant pipeline of talent for the region’s construction projects, connecting existing and aspiring construction workers to job training, coaching, and placement assistance, as well as family support services like child care, transportation, or the purchase of tools. WORKNOW supports community-centered hiring on infrastructure projects to improve access for local residents to expand the pipeline of workers for area contractors.

Denver Urban Gardens is planning to incorporate WORKNOW participants as volunteers in its work to sustain the 39th Avenue Greenway community garden , part of the nonprofit’s mission to build both community and school-based gardens across six metro counties. DUG’s programs also include horticultural and leadership training, youth education, and food access initiatives.

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) is among the founding public/private partners and funders of WORKNOW, and through its pilot Denver Construction Careers Program refers participants to WORKNOW in addition to coordinating closely with employers like SEMA to create more career opportunities for entry-level and mid-level workers in construction industries.

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About Denver Economic Development & Opportunity
Denver Economic Development & Opportunity is leading an inclusive and innovative economy for all Denver residents, including local and global business development, workforce development programs, and stabilization efforts in Denver’s diverse neighborhoods. Learn more at www.denvergov.org/economicdevelopment.

About SEMA Construction
Celebrating its 30th year in business, SEMA Construction is one of Colorado’s largest locally-owned heavy-civil contractors. Consistently named a Top Workplace by the Denver Post, SEMA employs more than 300 personnel locally and is annually ranked among the 400 largest civil contractors in the nation. The strength of SEMA’s legacy, combined with SEMA’s commitment to progress, creates endless opportunities for its employees to make purposeful contributions to society by providing essential infrastructure at a fair price to its customers. Learn more at https://sema.inc.