Community College of Denver Awarded Grant to Meet High Demand for Skilled Workers in STEM Industry
The $10.9M grant will be used to address the challenge of STEM participation across the country.

Community College of Denver (CCD) was one of a handful of Denver area institutions selected by the Department of Defense (DOD) for a $10.9 million grant to create defined engineering pathways for underrepresented students. Designed with the goal of creating a pipeline of highly skilled workers for high-demand jobs in the STEM industry, the grant will create a consortium between participating institutions. 

The Denver Metro Engineering Consortium (DMEC) aims to increase the number of underrepresented students who earn associate degrees and transfer to undergraduate engineering programs. By participating in the consortium, CCD will expand academic access to as many people as possible, including minorities, and help diversify the workforce.

CCD was selected to participate in the consortium because of its unconventional programs, which embrace a fast-growing STEM industry, such as its bachelor’s degree in Cannabis Science and Operations. The college also provides traditional STEM degrees such as engineering and mathematics.

“We are honored to be one of the Denver-Metro institutions selected for this impactful grant,” said CCD President Marielena P. DeSanctis, Ph.D. “By creating synergy between the two-year and four-year institutions, we’re able to deliver on the promise of equitable access to education and upward economic mobility through traditional and leading-edge STEM careers.” 

DMEC members, led by the University of Colorado Boulder, will prepare these students for high-wage, high-demand careers in engineering and the defense industry through summer bridge programming, skill-building workshops, paid internship opportunities, and more. In addition to CCD, phase one partners include the non-profit firm Growth Sector, University of Colorado Denver, and Community College of Aurora

To learn more about CCD’s STEM programs, visit



About Community College of Denver

Community College of Denver (CCD) is a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. CCD provides cost-effective, high-quality college education, along with access and opportunity for non-traditional students, workforce development, training resources for local organizations, and community partnerships. CCD is a federally funded Hispanic Serving and designated Military Friendly Institution. Learn more at