Preservation and Skills Training (PAST) Program


The Preservation and Skills Training (PAST) Program is a two-year competency-based, trade and preservation skills developmental training program. It is designed for WG 3-7 maintenance employees who maintain and repair historic structures.

The competency-based curriculum consists of a series of work-centered, one-on-one, hands-on training sessions and formal workshops. The program assigns a mentor to each trainee to serve as their skills instructor. Mentors instruct and demonstrate skills to trainees to the apprentice or intermediate skill level in their selected trades, while also imparting the NPS preservation philosophy.

In addition to working with a mentor, the entire class attends two formal hands-on preservation skills-based training workshops at an NPS site. Session topics can include carpentry, masonry, roofing, and/or painting skills. The training also includes online curriculum on topics such as preservation philosophy, safety awareness, team building, and strategic thinking.

The PAST program provides mentors with an opportunity to share their expertise with other employees, impart preservation and maintenance philosophy, meet other journeyman-level craftspeople, and work on diverse types of projects. Mentors also have the opportunity to receive additional training to increase their communication and interpersonal skills.

The program includes up to 12 weeks of formal and hands-on training over a two year period. The classroom and hands-on sessions are held at various NPS sites and travel expenses are paid for by the Office of Learning and Development.

What You’ll Learn

Through this program, attendees will gain:

  • A basic understanding of historic preservation principles
  • The ability to apply the skills learned to working on historic park structures

The competencies addressed include:

  • Knowledge of specific maintenance disciplines
  • Preservation laws
  • Philosophy and practice of historic preservation
  • Preservation skills
  • Trade skills
  • Project management
  • Risk management

Additional Information

For more information on the PAST program, contact Katherine Wonson, Training Manager at the Historic Preservation Training Center.

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