The Campaign for Historic Trades and Preservation Maryland visited Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine to speak to the National Park Service‘s Historic Preservation Training Center Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP) trainees. The Campaign for Historic Trades works to recruit trainees and place them in national parks across the country, growing opportunities for the next generation of historic preservationists.

watch our video from the visit and learn more about the TTAP experience

The 2022 TTAP trainees at Fort McHenry were Ben Lammers and Emma Lucier-Keller. TTAP trainees often come to the program from varying levels of experience in the trades and these trainees were no exception. Ben had been looking for an opportunity to learn hands-on preservation skills by a trained professional and saw TTAP as a great way to jump-start his career with the National Park Service.

“I really felt like TTAP was a fantastic experience as someone who wanted to get introduced to the preservation trades but didn’t really know where to start…The opportunity to join the workforce at NPS and really get hands-on experience from leading professionals is a great program. I’ve had great training, and I look forward to my future after TTAP.”

Ben Lammers, 2022 TTAP participant

Emma Lucier-Keller is a Master’s student studying historic preservation and was looking for an opportunity to get more experience in the field.

“Coming from a purely academic background…I’ve got the theoretic side of historic preservation, but I’ve never really got the hands-on experience that I’ve been able to get through this program… You don’t have to have a lot of experience. It’s about introducing people and getting people who are enthusiastic about preservation involved in this career field, ” Emma explained.

Both Ben and Emma received training from National Park Service’s preservation professionals and went through entry-level safety training. As part of the program, they received certificates in  These certificates were not only crucial for the projects they completed at Fort McHenry but they will also make them desirable to future employers.

They worked 40 hours a week under the supervision of their DPL Mark Wilson, a Preservationist at Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site. The projects at the site included repointing brick work, painting, replacing wood siding of buildings, and glazing and installing windows.

“I had the privilege of working with two extraordinary individuals teaching them hands-on trades, masonry, carpentry, woodcrafting, window installation, you name it. The amazing thing about the TTAP program is being able to teach others, the next generation, the hands-on side of preservation. A lot of preservation degrees out there with give you the administration side and the book knowledge. But it’s very difficult to find a program, where you can come at a National Park like this, where you have access to some of the beautiful treasures of our nation and be able to work with your hands on historic structures on a day-by-day basis.”

Mark Wilson, NPS Preservationist

TTAP provides hands-on, historic preservation trade skills training during an intensive twenty-week learning-while-working experience. Trainees receive project-based opportunities to learn carpentry, woodcrafting, finishing, masonry, metalworking, and window restoration while working, learning, and earning alongside professional NPS staff.

For more information about the program and TTAP opportunities, visit:

or contact Recruitment Associate Jordan Riggs at