award nominee Dinis Prazeres and BUILD’s Art Ladd

award nominee Dinis Prazeres and BUILD’s Art Ladd


Picture this, a line of people that can wrap around an Olympic sized swimming pool…twice.


In early February, BUILD, a social enterprise and trades-based employment training program for Indigenous and inner-city residents facing multiple barriers to employment, held an information session on their program and a queue of people 200 feet long showed up.  Recruitment is not a problem, people want to work. What BUILD did need help with was the gap between participants completing their training and finding them the right employer destinations.


For Art Ladd, Executive Director of BUILD, that help came in the form of Dinis Prazeres, President of JEDS Construction.  


Dinis has been a Spark volunteer since 2013, becoming interested in Spark during a presentation to Leadership Winnipeg.  He wanted to give back and felt that the opportunity to be a mentor to be an intriguing idea. Fast forward three years and Dinis and Art agree to a year-long mentorship match.


The pair met once a month to discuss the construction sector and day-to-day operations, in which Dinis proved to be a great resource, but it was his role as a connector that really made an impact in closing the gap between BUILD trainees and employed individuals.  


In other words, Dinis was the bridge that Art was looking for.  


It was Dinis that used his industry connections to broker a meeting between Art and Rich Marchetti, President of Transcona Roofing (TR).  The meeting resulted in TR subcontracting work to BUILD.  This proved so successful several BUILD trainees who worked on the subcontracting project later secured permanent employment with TR and quickly became some of their most sought-after crew members.


This story really demonstrates the power of connection and how bringing different people to the table can result in positive outcomes for everyone.  Dinis brought Art and Rich to the table.  What resulted was Dinis building greater capacity in his industry, BUILD trainees gained permanent employment, and TR gained skilled and sought-after employees. 


Dinis’s willingness to share his industry-specific experience and insights, and his role as in helping secure permanent employment for BUILD trainees is why Art is nominating him for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards.


To learn more about this match visit our blog post.  Check out the profiles of Foster Lyle and Stephen Pitre, Jill Knaggs and Elise Epp, and follow along with other nominee profiles this month!