Traditional Trades Advancement Program


What is the Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP)?

Created through a unique partnership between the National Park Service and Groundwork USA, the Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP) is a 26-week, 1040-hour, paid internship program in which participants will have the opportunity to learn from construction and preservation experts, develop the skills to enter the industry, and work in, and preserve historic structures in a National Park. Learn more about the National Park Service’s TTAP Program.

  • How to preserve and restore historic buildings and structures

  • Woodworking, painting, masonry, glazing, etc. depending on the needs of the park

  • How to operate hand tools and power tools

  • Material handling and project management

  • Construction drawing and construction math

  • Construction industry standards and procedures

  • Historic Preservation Fundamentals Training

  • OSHA Safety Training (OSHA-10 certification)

Housing will most likely be provided at the park for the duration of the program, but cannot be guaranteed.

  • $18 per hour stipend, paid bi-weekly 

  • Five uniform shirts  

  • Professional development stipend 

  • Gear stipend for work boots and other equipment 

  • A tablet or Chromebook (will be used for training and work but will be kept by the interns at the completion of their term) 

  • OSHA-10 certification (needed for work at construction sites) 

  • Paid travel to a week-long NPS Historic Preservation Fundamentals course 

  • Public Land Corps hiring authority for two years that can be used to help gain employment with the National Park Service. Find out more about Public Land Corps hiring authority

  • Networking opportunities with the National Park Service 

  • Career development and placement assistance from Groundwork USA and the NPS 

  • Young adults aged 18-30 (Veterans up to 35 with Honorable Discharge). Female-identifying and LGBTQ+ persons are encouraged to apply. 

  • United States citizens or legal residents. Interns must be able to read and communicate in English. Some writing may be required during the term.   

  • No minimum education level is required. However, applicants must be able to read and understand training materials and complete a basic reading and math test. 

  • No prior experience with construction or historic preservation is required. Applicants should have a career interest in building trade skills (carpentry, masonry, etc.) and/or historic preservation. 

General requirements:

  • Applicants must be comfortable working outside in varying weather conditions and at heights, have a willingness to work hard and get dirty, and have a love for the outdoors and working with their hands. Some work days may be up to 10 hours long, depending on the needs of the park. 

  • Must be able to commit to a twenty-six-week experience of training and hands-on, full-time work. 

  • Must be substance free in accordance with our drug-free workplace policy, be able to pass a criminal history check as prescribed by the Serve America Act, and adhere to safety requirements and expectations.  

  • Must complete Groundwork USA paperwork in a timely manner (timesheets, reports, and forms) 

  • Have a serious attitude toward safety all day, every day 

  • Have the ability to think critically and creatively and have a positive attitude 

  • Have effective communication abilities 

  • Have a professional and respectful attitude and works well within a team 

  • Flexibility to work outside of traditional hours may be required 

Site Specific Requirements

Responsibilities will include:

  • Masonry and carpentry techniques to preserve at-risk components of the historic built environment.
  • Carpentry skills learned may include simple timber-framing, design, and layout.
  • Opening the park in the morning with the other maintenance crew (examples include: bathrooms, trash removal, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping)

Minimum Requirements:

  • Moderate to heavy physical effort is required for this position, including occasional lifting or handling of objects over 45lbs using proper techniques. 

  • Standing or kneeling for long periods and will be required to climb ladders, work from scaffolding or platforms, work on uneven or angled surfaces such as a roof, and/or be able to work in confined spaces. 

  • Ability to stoop, bend, kneel, climb and walk in all manners of environmental conditions such as rain, mud, and extreme heat or cold. 

  • Must be able to get to Fredericksburg, VA at the start of the internship. Groundwork USA and the NPS cannot reimbursement your travel costs. 

  • Must have a valid driver’s license. 


How to Apply

Apply today using this online TTAP application. The deadline to apply is March 3, 2022.


Groundwork USA provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits, building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.

Groundwork USA, in partnership with the National Park Service and Historic Preservation Training Center, are seeking individuals to participate in the Traditional Trades Advancement Program. Interns will receive introductory training in a variety of traditional trades and will develop an understanding of historic resource stewardship while helping to preserve our nation’s historic resources. This program provides interns with marketable skills and exposure to the historic preservation field.

Have questions? Contact Program Manager, James Foster at 251-479-8477 or

Last updated: February 4, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg , VA 22405


540 693-3200

Contact Us

Stay Connected