Status of Historic Trades in America

The need to support the continuation of historic trades skills through traditional trades training has long been a point of concern in the preservation field, but the lack of labor market data makes the assessment of training and actual job market needs extremely difficult to ascertain. Federal construction activity data does not differentiate between new construction and rehabilitation, let alone the share of rehabilitation that might constitute historic preservation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have subsets of data on the construction trades reflecting the number of people either performing historic preservation nor having expertise in that area, making it difficult to quantify the number or percentage of projects requiring historic trades expertise. As part of its larger mission to identify and resolve systemic barriers to historic trades careers, The Campaign for Historic Trades seeks define these occupations and ascertain the current and future market need for trained historic tradespeople. This study will support this initiative by isolating labor data to use in advocacy work and support the creation of historic trades apprenticeships.

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Heritage Strategies International