Replicable Models for Traditional Trades Training
Molly Baker serves as HOPE Crew Manager in the Preservation Services and Outreach department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her focus is growing interest in the building preservation trades by engaging a younger, more diverse audience in hands-on preservation opportunities. Additionally, she has partnered with HOPE Crew Director Milan Jordan to expand the program, finding the place where architecture education and preservation experience intersect by working with architecture students on campus stewardship, community engagement, and documentation techniques. Molly was drawn to building preservation by her belief in the value of learning about history through the structures that hold the stories of our past. She holds an A.S. in historic building preservation from Belmont College, a B.A. in history from Northwestern State University, and is currently pursuing a master’s certificate in building preservation from the University of Kentucky.
Molly’s fellowship capstone project is to collect, analyze, and publish replicable models for preservation trades training. Nationwide there are examples of successful trades training programs at various levels: high school technical education courses, conservation corps training, apprenticeships, volunteer opportunities, and accredited community colleges. However, often a barrier to entering these programs is their location. Molly’s project will be to produce a roadmap for smaller regions to create their own preservation trades training opportunities. The goal is to increase program accessibility to generate more awareness of traditional trades, build interest in the field, and hopefully begin to offset the incredible need for preservation trades specialists. Her work will include collecting information about the existing programs with a focus on how they were built, detailing their educational models, and sharing how they are sustained. Her findings will be presented as a case study, providing tools to inspire and create new preservation trades practitioners at the grassroots level.