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SPOTLIGHT: Dino Vann, Ironworker and Community Builder

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Dino Vann, a Detroit ironworker, has been a mainstay on The District Detroit job sites since 2015—helping to install steel beams at Little Caesars Arena and Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. 

Vann is a Detroit-native and says the skilled trades have given him opportunities that otherwise are hard to come by in the city – steady work, good pay to support his wife and five children and the chance to help rebuild Detroit and support its revitalization.

Recognizing the job opportunities that the skilled trades and developments like The District Detroit provide, Vann made it his mission to get more people from his community involved. That’s why he began Skilled Trade Enrollment Assistant Program (STEAP), a pre-apprentice program that helps participants prepare for apprenticeship exams and sort personal files – such as driver’s licenses, social security cards, etc. – to better their odds of finding employment. 

During weekly STEAP sessions, Dino typically leads a class of 20-30 individuals through sample math problems they can expect to encounter on apprenticeship tests. He also tutors participants individually to make sure no one is left behind. 

Since STEAP’s inception last year, 18 graduates have passed their apprenticeship exams, six of whom have worked on sites across The District Detroit. 

STEAP is an initiative of the Better Men Outreach (BMO) organization, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the physical, social and ethical growth of young men in Detroit. In addition to his role as STEAP founder and executive director, Vann also is the director of recruiting for BMO. 

If you would like to learn more about STEAP or BMO and how you can support each, please visit and   

About The District Detroit 

The District Detroit is one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Located in the heart of Detroit, this 50-block, mixed-use development led by the Ilitch organization unites eight world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions — The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

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