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

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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


News & Updates

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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By Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland Releases Opportunity Report


Preservation Maryland works to protect Maryland’s unique and irreplaceable heritage while creating a more equitable and sustainable future. We remain at the forefront of the reservation movement, creatively working to preserve place, grow the historic preservation workforce, and effect policy change so our shared history can be enjoyed for untold generations to come. Our newly released Opportunity Report profiles current work and what’s ahead for Preservation Maryland.

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The Campaign visits the National Association of Women in Construction summer camp for young women

The Campaign for Historic Trades and partner National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center staff spent a day teaching historic trades skills to young women at the National Association of Women in Construction ‘s Camp NAWIC Baltimore, a free, week-long day camp for 7th to 12th grade girls to introduce them to a potential career in the construction industry.

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The Harrison Goodall Grant for Innovative Historic Preservation gives graduate students and enterprising professionals the opportunity to undertake a focused pursuit that makes a meaningful contribution to the field of historic preservation and support the stewardship of historic resources nationwide and at any level (e.g., federal agencies, state and county parks, non-profit history museums, etc.). The grant is a short-term opportunity to pursue a unique self-directed project under the guidance of a mentor. Recipients will receive recognition for a distinguished achievement while creating original preservation training content, performing research, or enhancing leadership and management skills.

In brief, the grant is meant to encourage and help accomplish something exceptional and innovative.

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Preservation Maryland and our program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, are hosting cemetery preservation workshops across the state, where participants learn the basic preservation techniques of caring for a cemetery. The first workshop will take place this Saturday, April 30th in Frederick at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The workshop will be led by Jon Appell of Atlas Preservation and Moss Rudley of the Historic Preservation Training Center.

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Today is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, also known as World Heritage Day. Created as a way to celebrate diversity and cultural heritage around the world, Preservation Maryland and our program The Campaign for Historic Trades are celebrating the value of history in our lives and our work to preserve and protect sites across the country.

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