The Campaign for Historic Trades

A national workforce development program to expand and strengthen careers in the historic trades, The Campaign for Historic Trades focuses on the training for the skills needed to maintain, preserve, restore, rehabilitate, reconstruct, and deconstruct historic structures.

About The Campaign

The Campaign for Historic Trades, a national workforce development program of Preservation Maryland, seeks to ensure quality employment and a quality workforce for the historic trades. To achieve this, we work to:

  1. Register apprenticeships with the Department of Labor.
  2. Create open education and training resources available in English and Spanish, hosted online following Section 508 accessibility guidelines and licensed under a Creative Commons license.
  3. Work with stakeholders to support preservation trades programs, associations, and businesses.
  4. Develop statewide and national historic trades training opportunities that are accessible to all.
  5. Promote and recruit for the National Park Service’s preservation and trades programs.
  6. Advocate for support of the historic trades training.
  7. Lead the national movement to strengthen and expand historic trades careers.

Learn More about the variety of resources we provide for to grow and expand careers in the historic trades visit

Campaign Partners

Support the Campaign

News & Updates

This Giving Tuesday our workforce development program The Campaign for Historic Trades is raising funds to help young adults with cost of living expenses during their 12-26 week terms with the carpentry, woodcrafting, & masonry teams at the Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Md.

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Groundbreaking decision provides cohesive framework to enter careers in historic trades 

BALTIMORE (November 14, 2023) – The Campaign for Historic Trades, a national workforce development program, powered by Preservation Maryland, that is focused on expanding and strengthening careers in the historic trades, today announced the Maryland Department of Labor approved its first-of-its-kind group apprenticeship program for state registration. The program sets standards – including on-the-job learning, related instruction, and core competencies – that provide a clear process for entering the workforce in roles like deconstruction technician, historic window technician, and preservation carpenter.

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In honor of National Preservation Month Preservation Maryland hosted elected officials, members of the preservation community, and stakeholders today in Frederick to recognize the passage of The Frederick Jobs and Historic Preservation Training Center Land Acquisition Act.

L-R: Preservation Maryland’s President & CEO Nicholas Redding, HPTC’s Superintendent Moss Rudley, HPTC’s Deputy Superintendent Brandon Gordon, Frederick County Council President Brad Young, Congressman David Trone, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater, and Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor tour HPTC.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Congressman David Trone (D-Md.), Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, and Frederick County Council President Brad Young joined Preservation Maryland’s President & CEO Nicholas Redding and National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center’s (HPTC) Superintendent Moss Rudley for the event, which included a guided tour of HPTC’s current facility and a formal program at Frederick’s Visitor’s Center.

L-R: Redding, Mayor O’Connor, Congressman Trone, Gordon, Senator Van Hollen.

Sponsored by Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and by Congressman Trone in the House of Representatives, the legislation gives the National Park Service congressional authority to build out a larger, fully functioning center for historic trades training; the new center will allow for the needed expansion, as the current demand for qualified individuals far outweighs those that have been trained. Preservation Maryland and NPS’ Historic Preservation Training Center, located in downtown Frederick, run the national workforce development program The Campaign for Historic Trades which works to expand and strengthen training and career opportunities in historic trades.

Attendees were able to see HPTC staff and trainees at work and learn more about the type of training and hands-on work that will expand as a result of the legislation and subsequent future increased footprint of a new training center.

Both Redding and Rudley spoke to the value of historic trades training, the impact Maryland has on the national preservation movement, and what Redding called “Team Maryland” – the collection of elected officials and partners that helped get the legislation across the finish line – were able to accomplish together. “This legislation isn’t just about buying land – it’s about investing in our communities and building a workforce equal to the opportunity before us,” added Redding.

Senator Van Hollen, Rep. Trone, County Executive Fitzwater and Mayor O’Connor also delivered remarks and presented proclamations in honor of Preservation Month before the program concluded.

Learn more about The Campaign for Historic Trades

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The Campaign for Historic Trades partnered with Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) to create a customized training program focused on providing participants with an introduction to the preservation trades. The 12-week program is comprised of 60 contact hours of instruction including lectures, in-class activities, demonstrations, site visits, and shop tours. The first cohort have completed the training program and the second cohort begins training with NRF April 11, 2023.

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By Natalie Henshaw

Looking Back and Moving Forward 

A note from Natalie Henshaw, Director of The Campaign for Historic Trades

Happy New Year! As we move into 2023, I want to take a moment and reflect on 2022. The Campaign for Historic Trades’ mission is to expand and strengthen careers in the historic trades. Necessary to its success is the relationship with the people it impacts—we want to structure our work to be supportive of – and responsive to – the preservation trades community.

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Cemeteries, like historic buildings and landscapes, provide critical connections between our past and future. This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting our Cemetery Preservation Workshop series so we have the capacity to educate more future preservationists, history lovers, and communities across the state and preserve the stories of our past.

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Cemeteries, like historic buildings and landscapes, provide critical connections between our past and future. Cemeteries literally contain the physical remnants – human remains – of our past. Cemeteries are evocative and powerful places that speak to descendants and casual visitors equally. Not only do cemeteries memorialize our loved ones who have passed away, they also hold invaluable social, artistic, cultural, and architectural heritage. Cemetery preservation is not only caring for the material history such as grave markers, monuments, and cemetery structures, it brings the community together to honor those who have passed away and the families connected to cemetery sites.

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 Analysis shows the need for a larger and better-trained historic trades workforce; 100,000 workers needed within the next decade

BALTIMORE (November 15, 2022)Preservation Maryland and its national program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, today announced the completion of a first-of-its-kind labor study on the status of historic trades in America. The study is believed to be the most comprehensive survey ever prepared on the status of the traditional trades in the United States. While ample data exists for the construction industry as a whole, specific and consistent labor market statistics have not previously existed for the historic trades.

The Campaign for Historic Trades is a national workforce development program powered by the statewide non-profit Preservation Maryland in partnership with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center. As part of its mission to identify and resolve systemic barriers to historic trades careers, The Campaign sought to define historic trades occupations and ascertain the current and future market need for trained tradespeople. With this new study, conducted by PlaceEconomics – a firm with decades of experience in the analysis of the economic impact of preservation – and the data it provides, the gap between the need for historic preservation trades workers and the trained hands to perform the work is estimated and forecasted for the first time in history.

“Quantifying the disconnect between the need for historic preservation trades workers and the trained hands to perform the work allows us to make the strong case for funding to support our bold initiative and, most importantly, create a larger and better-trained workforce to preserve historic places across the country,” explained Natalie Henshaw, Director of The Campaign for Historic Trades.

Key Findings

The portion of the construction industry that is focused on historic rehabilitation is large and growing. Heritage trades make up an estimated 12.6% of all building rehabilitation jobs. Both the number of buildings considered historic and the amount of money invested in their rehabilitation are on upward curves. But there is a serious shortage of workers who are trained and experienced in the historic preservation trades.


  • Nearly 2 million commercial buildings, 35 million residential buildings, and over 2 million multi-family buildings—that is, almost 39 million of 96.1 million structures in total—in the United States were built at least 50 years ago.
  • Each year, approximately 261,000 of these properties have rehabilitation projects that require experience heritage trades workers—that is nearly 100,000 highly specialized trades workers needed over the next decade.
  • In 2021 alone the total investment in historic buildings is estimated to be nearly $37 billion, and that historic rehabilitation activity is expected to create close to 166,000 direct jobs annually.


The rehabilitation of historic buildings is a labor-intensive activity, meaning a high share of the total expenditure goes to labor. These projects create more localized jobs compared to new construction activities.


  • For every 10 direct jobs created by rehabilitating a historic building, another 1.8 to 2.4 additional jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
  • On average, for every $100 in direct labor income an additional $186 is generated in paychecks for indirect and induced jobs.
  • Additionally, $11.3 billion direct labor income is created by historic rehabilitation activity.


“Historic preservation is not niche,” said Nicholas Redding, president and CEO of Preservation Maryland and The Campaign for Historic Trades. “It’s a major component of the nation’s construction industry and this study underscores the need for communities all across America to invest in the workforce that will sustain this growing, diverse, and significant component of the trades landscape.”

To access the full labor study, visit

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By Preservation Maryland

Solving the Workforce Development Puzzle 

Join us on Thursday, October 27, 2022 as we attend the Symposium: Solving the Workforce Development Puzzle, hosted by the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation (MCCEI) and the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence. 

The missions of our program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, and MCCEI closely align with each other. Founded in 2009 by construction industry leaders in Maryland, the MCCEI is a nonprofit workforce intermediary committed to making careers in the built environment attractive and accessible to all. MCCEI’s core purpose is to inspire, educate, and connect a diverse population to careers in the built environment.

The MCCEI has a helpful and interactive website, where people can explore career and training opportunities in the state of Maryland. MCCEI also administers a scholarship program to individuals currently enrolled or planning to enroll in built environment-related coursework for the upcoming school year. This year, they also piloted the MCCEI Internship Program to connect students with paid internship opportunities, providing placement services with employers and structured mentorship components for the interns.  

MCCEI guides the future of the industry by providing education and promoting innovation, working with stakeholders to find solutions—such as this Symposium. The construction industry has been struggling to meet workforce demands for over a decade, and since the pandemic, it has only gotten worse. At the Symposium, experts in the field will discuss how they attract and retain talent, and participants will engage in networking and roundtable discussions. 

“For Maryland’s construction workforce, MCCEI serves a vital role as the workforce intermediary. This has been an invaluable connection for The Campaign’s efforts in the state of Maryland, and we’ve identified other states organizations working towards cohesive solutions. Unfortunately, not all states have this type of organization. This type of collaborative effort is needed to help solve the skilled labor shortage and makes a significant difference in making substantial impact. We hope other Maryland-based representatives can join us at October’s symposium and work towards cohesive solutions.”

-Natalie Henshaw, Director, The Campaign for Historic Trades

To sign up, visit: Symposium: Solving the Workforce Development Puzzle Tickets, Thu, Oct 27, 2022 at 8:00 AM | Eventbrite 

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The Campaign for Historic Trades and Preservation Maryland visited Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine to speak to the National Park Service‘s Historic Preservation Training Center Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP) trainees. The Campaign for Historic Trades works to recruit trainees and place them in national parks across the country, growing opportunities for the next generation of historic preservationists.

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