Preservation and Skills Training (PAST) Program


The Preservation and Skills Training (PAST) Program is a one year, competency-based, trade and preservation skills developmental training program specifically designed for the National Park Service’s maintenance employee. The goal of the PAST Program is to teach future preservationists the skills, techniques, and approaches necessary to effectively preserve and maintain our historic resources. In return, participants can apply these skills directly through their work at their park site and help pass their knowledge along to the next generation of NPS preservation maintenance workers.

Who can participate?

The PAST program is aimed at permanent full-time, WG/GS 5-9 maintenance employees in the National Park Service. Preference will be given to permanent employees, but employees in term positions are welcome to apply. You do not need to have a background in preservation to participate in the program, just a desire to learn.

What is the experience like?

The PAST Program consists of work-centered, hands-on training combined with formal instruction time and mentorship. Five weeks of the program will be dedicated to in-person training at designated NPS sites, with virtual and informal learning opportunities scheduled in between throughout the year. The virtual learning curriculum may be on topics like preservation philosophy, safety awareness, team building, teaching and mentorship, and strategic thinking.

Throughout your PAST journey, you will have a community of mentors, instructors, and classmates to support your growth in NPS preservation and philosophy, and help you grow into a preservation mentor of tomorrow.

What is the cost to participate?

The Historic Preservation Training Center covers tuition and travel costs for you to participate. Individual park units will pay employee(s) salary for the duration of the program. Because the program requires 4-5 weeks of travel with the possibility of overtime, all applicants must have supervisory approval before applying. In exchange, you will learn a foundation of preservation skills that you can take back to your park and pass along to the next generation of preservation workers.

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 assets

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

How do I apply?

There are three steps to apply:

  1. Gain supervisory approval. Please reach out to both your immediate supervisor and a second-level supervisor (e.g. facility manager, superintendent, deputy superintendent, etc.) to express your interest in participating in the program. You must have supervisory approval before you can submit your PAST application.
  2. Register for the waitlist in DOI Talent. Visit the Preservation and Skills Training Program page on DOI Talent to add your name to the waitlist.
  3. Submit the electronic PAST Application by February 22, 2022. 

Only applicants who have registered in DOI Talent and completed the electronic PAST Application will be considered for this opportunity.

Additional Information

For more information on the PAST program, contact Laura Tomcek, Training Specialist at the Historic Preservation Training Center.

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