The Campaign for Historic Trades

is a dynamic workforce development initiative to expand and strengthen careers in the highdemand field of historic trades. 

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Why Historic Trades?

Across the nation, thousands of construction jobs go unfilled – a quiet crisis that grows each day. The problem is magnified for the historic trades. These jobs require specialized skill and knowledge to properly preserve historic structures and materials.

“According to a 2019 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 80 percent of construction firms reported having difficulty in filling craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce. Similarly, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders found 82 percent of respondents expected labor shortages to be their top issue in 2019. This lack of skilled workers is further magnified for the specialized traditional trades often needed for historic preservation projects.”

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Policy Statement on Promotion and Value of Traditional Trades Training, Adopted October 19, 2020

The Campaign for Historic Trades is working to comprehensively address this challenge. The reasons are multi-faceted and require a holistic approach to provide people with clear career pathways, accessible education, and secure employment. To accomplish this, The Campaign’s 2022 priorities are to:

  1. Register historic trades apprenticeships with the Department of Labor
  2. Create an open-source library and training courses, available online
  3. Publish studies about preservation education and the historic trades labor force
  4. Develop training programs within Maryland and across the country
  5. Support and recruit for the National Park Service’s Traditional Trades Advancement Program
  6. Advocate for public support of paid-to-learn training programs
  7. Work with stakeholders to make The Campaign the national leader for resources in historic trades training

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Traditional Trades Advancement Program
Now Hiring for the 2022 Season

The National Park Service and private industry need tradespeople with specialized skills to preserve and maintain our country’s valuable historic structures, and The Campaign for Historic Trades is working to meet that need. The Campaign has a dynamic partnership with the National Parks Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center and Conservation Legacy to broaden the reach of the National Park Service’s Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP).

TTAP is open to individuals who are eligible for AmeriCorps service and provides hands-on, historic preservation trades training at a National Park Service site during an intensive 20-week apprenticeship. TTAP allows the important work of preserving the cultural resources and crucial infrastructure of National Park sites to be passed onto the next generation in a time when many employment fields are becoming obsolete through mechanization. Traditional trades in their modern form require much of the same materials, tools, ingenuity, skills, and hard work that have been required for generations and can never be replaced.

Click Here to View Openings & Apply Now

Success Stories

I’ve developed a better work ethic from this program [TTAP], and above all I’ve learned just how important it is to preserve.

Tanner Bookhoop

Youth Participant

Being a part of the [Traditional Trades Apprenticeship] program is a great opportunity for veterans looking at getting into the trades, as it can open a lot of doors and create lasting friendships and skills. Nothing beats working hard and training with your brothers towards a common goal. I’d encourage anyone looking for a good steady honest day’s work and wages to check out the program

Scott Bailey

U.S. Veteran Participant

I would like senior officials in the NPS to know that this [TTAP] is a great program.  Traditional trades are not something I have ever been interested in before, however this internship has opened my eyes to all the work that goes into these national parks and I am very happy to have the chance to have an impact.

Mason Brooks

Youth Participant, 2018

The most challenging aspect of my experience thus far would be learning to do things I’ve never done before. Practicing with tools I had little experience with or a particular technique that is difficult to master has been the most challenging aspect.  I try to avoid making the same mistake twice and make good habits when working properly and safely with tools.

Garrett Pahanish

Youth Participant, 2018