The Campaign for Historic Trades

Across the nation, thousands of construction jobs go unfilled – a quiet crisis that grows each day. In order to address this challenge, the National Park Service and Preservation Maryland are partnering on The Campaign for Historic Trades to increase opportunities for all Americans to enter the trades and help restore the nation’s vast and irreplaceable heritage.

About The Campaign

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 (HPTC) and the Campaign 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.

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. 


Interested to learn more?

Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program participants in Tennessee, 2019.


The Campaign for Historic Trades also supports the diverse needs of the HPTC, with a central focus on the Center’s work to train skilled preservation tradespeople through its Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP).  The Campaign expands the program’s scale and geographic footprint.

Preservation Maryland is the HPTC’s official charitable partner.  The Campaign seeks statewide and national philanthropic support towards the Center’s programming and mission.  Early and generous support has been provided by Tauck Tours, Inc., the Driehaus Foundation and The 1772 Foundation.


Interested in learning the historic trades?  JOIN TTAP

Campaign Partners

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How Can i learn more about this campaign?

There are many ways to get involved in The Campaign for Historic Trades. There are opportunities for potential apprentices, foundations, companies, organizations, and property owners to be a part of the Campaign. As the program develops, we’d love to keep in touch with you. Please sign up for updates about the Campaign and you will be notified by Campaign staff shortly.

CAn I become an apprentice?

Currently, the Campaign for Historic Trades recruits within the eligibility requirements of the Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP). The TTAP program is focused on recruiting young adults, ages 18 through 30, and post-9/11 veterans. Cohorts of TTAP apprentices ranging in size from 4 to 12 individuals and are located around the country. Generally, apprentices are placed in National Park units with significant preservation projects underway. TTAP apprentices are led by trained Park Service tradespeople and are provided several industry-accepted certifications during their six-month training.

Start your Application


Funds raised by the Campaign are directly supporting a cohort of veteran apprentices this summer who are working to rehabilitate and restore historic resources at Antietam National Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park and Manassas National Battlefield. Additional cohorts of apprentices from the Training Center are also working this summer to restore similar resources in Georgia, Puerto Rico, coastal Virginia and northern California.


How Can Local or Statewide Preservation Groups Participate?

If you have a National Park unit in your region, you may be able to participate. Local and statewide preservation partners can help support this effort by working in partnership with Campaign for Historic Trades staff to identify potential park units, help to identify feeder organizations/programs for recruiting apprentices locally, help to identify private sector contractors in your region where apprentices could be placed at the end of their training, and identify potential funders to help expand the program in your region.

Is There a Cost for Partners to Participate?

No. The Campaign for Historic Trades primarily needs your connections to help with recruitment and placement. However, there is a need to develop further sources of funds to expand this program and train more apprentices and introducing Campaign staff to potential funders will help to grow the program. This does not mean handing over funders – in fact – funds could flow via the partner group and allow the local/statewide organization to establish itself as a workforce development organization. The Campaign is intentionally designed to be flexible and collegial with nonprofit partners. We are a nonprofit and understand your position.


The Campaign for Historic Trades is currently working with the National Park Service to identify project sites for 2020. If you are interested in participating, begin by collecting the following answers to the following questions before contacting Preservation Maryland:

  • What National Park unit(s) are you interested in working with? Is there a specific project they are considering?
  • What existing job/construction training programs exist in your community? Would you be able to introduce Campaign staff?
  • What private sector preservation contractors exist in your community or broader region who might be interested in hiring apprentices out of this program?
  • Are there potential workforce development funders in your community who might be interested in sponsoring a cohort or helping to fund classes during training to the general public?

Once you have answers to these questions, send an email summarizing your interest and answers. Submit that email to with the subject line Historic Trades Project and the Campaign will be in touch with you shortly.

Donate to the Campaign for Historic Trades


News & Updates

Online Old Line State Summit Session

According to the Department of Labor, construction is a “nontraditional” career field for women because women account for fewer than 25% of the registered workforce. The term “nontraditional”, however, implies that women did not and do not traditionally participate in construction work. This is inaccurate. This misconception erases women’s contribution to historic structures and is a disservice to present-day women working in building trades. This webinar delves into women’s roles in construction, historically and today.


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Preservation Maryland joins with the rest of the broader preservation community in mourning the passing of Richard H. Driehaus, an icon of preservation philanthropy.

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Over the course of a challenging year, the Campaign for Historic Trades has continued to invest in the future of this critical training program — and in 2021 this national programmatic effort of Preservation Maryland is poised to improve the future of historic trades training across the nation.

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Organizations like Preservation Maryland aren’t just preserving the past – we’re investing in our future. In just the past year we’ve invested heavily in our work and refused to accept the mounting challenges as a reason to retreat or hold our position. But – trust me as I say this – we simply cannot rest on our past victories. The future demands action – and with your support, we will make 2021 a year to celebrate.

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The National Park Service, in partnership with Preservation Maryland, is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship – three awards that will support innovation and professional growth in the field of historic preservation.

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A leading consulting firm in the study of preservation, revitalization, and reinvestment economics, PlaceEconomics, has just released a clear case for including historic preservation principles squarely into COVID-19 recovery efforts.

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Preservation Maryland Executive Director, Nicholas Redding was selected by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to serve as vice chairman of the Council’s recently formed Traditional Trades Training Task Force. The Task Force is led by Aimee Jorjani, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation with the goal of building a preservation ethic in construction trades and to highlight the worth of the skilled craft worker.

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By Nicholas A. Redding

Membership 2020: Preservation Is An Act of Optimism

To be a preservationist, you need to be an optimist.  You need to look at the dilapidated building, see what once was, and have the vision to see what could be.  Today, at a time when despair would be easy, I need you to reach deep into your reserves of optimism – and help us build a brighter future by joining Preservation Maryland.

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