ACHP Policy Statement on Promotion and Value of Traditional Trades Training

October 19, 2020

On October 19, 2020, the ACHP voted to approve a policy statement on the promotion and value of traditional trades training. As the number of skilled workers in the construction trades has plummeted in recent years, the shortage of skilled preservation craft workers has continued to grow. Restoration work on historic buildings simply cannot be done without skilled workers, making the training of new craftspeople a critical priority. Additionally, job training opportunities in traditional trades continue to contribute to economic recovery and growth in America's communities. 

The policy statement discusses the need for and the benefits of expanded traditional trades training; suggests key principles that should guide federal, state, and local workforce development and training efforts; and offers the following recommendations for federal action.

  • Integrate traditional trades into existing Department of Labor apprenticeship programs.
  • Encourage states to use existing Department of Education career and technical education funding for traditional trades training in state Perkins Plans.
  • Encourage recipients of existing Department of Housing and Urban Development funding to address traditional trades training when meeting workforce development requirements.
  • Consider options for federal support in development of open-source traditional trades training curriculum.
  • Develop federal qualification standards for the traditional trades.
  • Include traditional trades training when addressing deferred maintenance of historic properties under the Great American Outdoors Act.
  • Promote traditional trades training in the work of conservation corps.
  • Explore use of COVID-19 recovery/stimulus funding to create jobs and job training in the traditional trades.
  • Utilize the Historic Preservation Fund for traditional trades training grants, as authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act.
  • Explore development of sustainable, dedicated funding that would be a continuing source of revenue for traditional trades training.

The full text of the policy statement is available in the Federal Register and as a print-friendly PDF version.