The Campaign for Historic Trades

is a bold initiative to broaden and expand training in the highdemand field of historic trades. 


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. 

“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 finally and comprehensively address this challenge.

As members of the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation’s Traditional Trades Training Task Force, the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center and the Campaign for Historic Trades have partnered to enact the goals established in this policy statement.  The current priority objectives include:

  • Developing a first-of-its-kind open-source curriculum and course content for historic trades training.
  • Federally registered apprenticeships for critical historic trades.
  • Working with educational, non-profit, and for-profit partners to accelerate training.

In addition, the Campaign for Historic Trades is building out a service corps to place trainees directly in the field.  These trainees will learn how to restore iconic historic resources on public lands. 



Support the Work

There are many opportunities for potential apprentices, foundations, companies, organizations, and property owners to be a part of the Campaign.  Find out how you can support the work.

Support the Work

Get Involved

The Campaign for Historic Trades is creating apprenticeship and training opportunities across the country.  Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to discover how you can learn the historic trades.

Success Stories

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

Tanner Bookhoop

Youth Participant

Being a part of the 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 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

Over the last few weeks I have been working on several separate parts of a pergola, not even knowing precisely what it would look like when it came together.  Just recently I helped to assemble all those pieces, and the sense of accomplishment on seeing the completed panels was amazing.

Helen Kachur

Youth Participant, 2018

So far I have assisted in completing one project at the Benner Barn located at Gettysburg National Military Park.  I am currently working on the second project of my apprenticeship, at the Bowman-Hite House at Cedar Creek National Historical Park.  Here we are replacing shingles on the roof and repainting the exterior of the 19th century “witness house”.

I am most proud of all the progress I have made in learning how to use various power tools, and the hard work that I have put in, mentally and physically, to assist in preserving our nation’s historic resources.

Abby Hobbs

Youth Participant, 2018

We agree that the outcomes that veteran participants [of the Traditional Trades Apprentice Program] have produced at CHCH in terms of cleaning, repairing, and restoring a wide range of cultural assets have been extraordinary.

Brad Bennett

Superintendent, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (CHCH), National Park Service, Tennessee