Traditional Trades Program to Boost the Number of Skilled Workers in Historic Home Preservation

February 14, 2017

Hudson Valley Community College's Workforce Development Institute, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Historic Albany Foundation will join forces to offer a series of hands-on courses aimed at increasing the number of tradespeople skilled in the historic building trades.

With New York State's historic towns and cities experiencing an influx of renovation, revitalization and adaptive re-use, there is real need for skilled tradespeople who are professionally trained in these traditional trades.

The first course in what will be called the Traditional Trades program is "Historic Wood Window Rehabilitation," which will train individuals in the discipline of wood sash rehabilitation through hands-on workshops, lectures and field trips.

Five additional course offerings will include: Historic Masonry Repair, Preservation Carpentry and Woodworking, Historic Plaster and Stucco, Roofing Repair, and Weatherization of Historic Properties.

The courses are aimed at those interested in or already working in the building trades, as well as those who have an aptitude for the work, but might not yet have the on-the-job experience. Craftspeople trained in the preservation trades are in extremely high demand, often earning far more than the average home and commercial contractor. The Traditional Trades program seeks to enhance training in these lost building arts and to help craftspeople find a path forward into this expanding market.

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "I congratulate the New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Historic Albany Foundation, and the Hudson Valley Community College Workforce Development Institute on the creation of the traditional trades program. This initiative will provide our local communities with the tools to develop a skilled labor workforce that can work to preserve the rich history of our Capital Region while connect our residents to jobs and a sustainable career. Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this effort and I look forward to seeing it develop."

Nationwide, there are approximately 15 preservation trades programs at the community college level that train participants in the many facets of historic preservation. This will be the first such program offered at a community college in New York State and it may serve as a pilot for similar programs across the state.

"The New York State Division for Historic Preservation identified the critical need for buildings contractors who were skilled in the historic building trades during the preparation of our 2015-2020 NYS Historic Preservation Plan. We heard from countless communities across the state that, while they embrace the rich history and historic character of their neighborhoods, finding contractors with the necessary training to repair older buildings was extremely difficult," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "By enhancing the skills of craftspeople in the traditional trades, our goal is to fill this demand in the marketplace by assisting to create quality construction jobs that provide a much need service to the next generation of historic building stewards."

The Historic Wood Window Rehabilitation class will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning March 7 and will run through May 16. The class is available through Hudson Valley's Workforce Development Institute. Students are encouraged to register at, call (518) 629-4111 or email

Location of the class is at Historic Albany's Parts Warehouse at 89 Lexington Avenue, Albany. The instructor will be Chris Templin, of Rosch Brothers Construction and assistant instructor is Lisa Crompton, Technical Services Coordinator at Historic Albany.

Students who are interested in taking the Historic Wood Window Rehabilitation course must complete an 8-hour EPA Lead Safe class before attending the course, which will be offered free to those who are enrolled in the window course.

Students may elect to take just this first course, or they may be interested in preparing for a broader career by earning the college's Workforce Development Institute's micro-credential, Historic Preservation Trades Program Certificate. The program certificate will require the successful completion of four of the program's six courses.

Certificates of completion for the Traditional Trades courses are awarded by Hudson Valley's Workforce Development Institute and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which is New York's federally designated State Historic Preservation Office.

"Historic Albany is pleased to be the site of the first class for this important program, not only locally but statewide. Our only mission is to save buildings and what better way than to have a fully trained and certified tradespeople who know historic disciplines," said Susan Holland, Historic Albany Foundation's Executive Director. "We invite those who have been interested in preservation to come and see what the certificate course is all about."

New York's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of State Parks, helps communities identify, evaluate, preserve, and revitalize their historic, archeological, and cultural resources. The SHPO works with governments, the public, and educational and not-for-profit organizations to raise historic preservation awareness, to instill in New Yorkers a sense of pride in the state's unique history and to encourage heritage tourism and community revitalization.

Historic Albany Foundation is a private, not-for-profit membership organization, founded in 1974, that works to preserve and protect buildings that have architectural, historic or civic value, by providing advocacy, technical assistance and education.


The Hudson Valley Community College Workforce Development Institute provides high quality, reasonably priced programs that meet the staff training needs of the business and industry communities, and the career-skills needs of individuals. WDI develops and teaches customized, client-specific training programs for staff and management and provides industry-specific courses through open registration. Training is offered in traditional classroom, online, and blended classroom+online formats and is also available on-site for business clients. Our fast-track training programs help individuals attain their career-path goals and help businesses achieve higher standards and maintain a competitive edge.

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