March 23, 2023
Tamara Modebadze
Tamara Modebadze
By Rebecca Harrison

In early 2022, Roger Dutra, owner of Dutra Landscape, turned to Landscape Ontario’s GROW Program to find new employees. Over the next few months, he and his staff explored the full range of GROW’s free training programs. In this Success Snapshot, Roger describes how a year of GROW benefited the Dutra Landscape team.

Roger first learned about Landscape Ontario’s GROW Program when a colleague referred him to the GROW New Worker Job Bank. After completing the job bank’s verification process, Dutra Landscape gained priority access to graduates from GROW’s New Entrant Training Program.

For Roger, the quality of the GROW graduates set GROW’s New Worker Job Bank apart from other hiring programs.

“GROW participants put the time in to get training which takes commitment and an interest in the industry,” Roger said. “As an employer, we then get to hire someone who has committed their time to be trained for a career in landscaping. What more can you ask for?”

While GROW’s Employment Specialists worked to identify candidates that would be the right fit for the Dutra Landscape team, Roger became aware of GROW’s full range of free training programs. He nominated two team members for the GROW Supervisory Training Program and enrolled himself in the GROW Employers of Choice Level 1 Training Program.

“I realized GROW had programs to attract new talent, develop your existing talent, and best of all, they had the program that I needed, GROW Employers of Choice,” Roger added. “As a business owner who learned his craft with work boots on, I knew to GROW I would need to learn more about business.”

"Thanks to Landscape Ontario and the great staff.
With GROW, I found exactly what I was looking for!"

— Tamara Modebadze, Graduate of the GROW New Entrant Training Program & Dutra Landscape

As Roger prepared for his training, he received a call from GROW’s Shalini Mehta about a new participant in the New Entrant Training Program that could be a great fit for the team at Dutra Landscape.

Tamara Modebadze recently moved to the Hamilton area from Ukraine, where she worked as a project manager in landscaping for nearly eight years. She hoped to leverage her GROW training to transition to a career in landscape construction.

Tamara described that first call with Roger: “As I talked with Roger, I knew it would be a perfect fit! We’ve been on the same page ever since. We collaborate and combine our skills to get the best results. I’m happy to be in a company full of respect, trust and opportunities to grow.”

Following the call, Tamara accepted the position and prepared to start with Dutra Landscape once she completed her GROW training.

Since completing their respective programs, Roger and Tamara have wasted no time applying what they’ve learned to Dutra Landscape.

Each session of GROW’s Employers of Choice training program with instructor Jacki Hart presents strategies that participants can apply to their workplaces immediately. With his training, Roger gained a deeper understanding of the unique needs of his business and discovered new ways to develop his team of dedicated staff.

Tamara has quickly become a valued member of the team at Dutra. With Roger’s support, she’s been able to draw from her skills and experience to develop the company’s job-tracking system. Roger and Tamara hope that with further training and on-the-job learning opportunities, she can adapt her skills to fulfill the role of project manager in the near future.

In less than a year, the team at Dutra Landscape made use of the full range of GROW’s free programs. They added Tamara — a GROW New Entrant Training Program graduate, thanks to their free job posting on the GROW New Worker Job Bank. Roger worked with GROW experts to create individual training plans for two of his existing staff as part of the GROW Supervisory Training Program. And finally, Roger enrolled in the GROW Employers of Choice, where he has already learned valuable strategies to enhance Dutra Landscape’s ability to recruit and retain the best possible team.

“Our GROW Employment Team has enjoyed getting to know Roger and working with everyone at Dutra Landscape,” said GROW Employment Specialist Team Lead Stephanie McCormick. “What impressed us the most about Roger was his ability to see Tamara’s potential and his commitment to helping her realize her full potential as part of the Dutra Landscape team.”

Even the strongest seeds require healthy soil to reach their true growth potential. Dutra Landscape’s commitment to enhancing the workplace and developing staff provides the fertile soil today’s professionals need to put down roots with a company.  

For more information on the various GROW training programs, visit
employers of choice
new entrant training program
supervisory training program
new entrant worker job bank
Landscape Ontario’s GROW Program provides free training programs that support job-seekers interested in entering the landscape and horticulture industry, current professionals seeking to expand their skills, and employers striving to enhance their ability to attract and retain the best possible teams.

Landscape Ontario designed the GROW New Entrant Training Program to help new workers launch a career in landscape and horticulture. During the four-week intensive training program, participants train with current industry professionals to gain in-demand skills and safety knowledge.

GROW’s Supervisory Training Program allows employers to nominate up to two (2) members of their current staff for training customized to help them reach their full potential within their company.

Designed specifically for Ontario’s landscape and horticulture employer, GROW’s Employers of Choice training program helps employers attract, recruit and retain a team of dedicated staff.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.