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.

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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


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The Campaign for Historic Trades, a national program of Preservation Maryland created to broaden and expand training in the high–demand field of historic trades, and Conversation Legacy, a nationwide nonprofit that engages youth, young adults and veterans in conservation and service programs, today announced a partnership to recruit and train individuals in historic preservation trades.

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The Campaign for Historic Trades, a gateway workforce development program committed to training the next generation of skilled tradespeople to help restore and protect America’s history, is proud to announce the founding of the Historic Trades Council – a monumental and unprecedented national coalition made possible through Preservation Maryland’s innovative and groundbreaking programming.

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Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Students Learning Masonry. Image from the National Preservation Training Center

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Stewards VISTA Service Opportunity

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