Over the course of a 20-week immersive experience, TTAP participants preserve cultural resources and crucial infrastructure of national park sites, and in so doing, preserve craft skills necessary for ensuring these sites continue to inspire and educate the next generation.
Participants begin their experience with training in historic preservation and construction basics and continue by working in the field in a national park under the leadership of a NPS skilled preservationist.
In addition, participants will gain practical, hands-on experience which will provide the foundation for a career in historic preservation.
In 2021, the TTAP program created the first Indian Youth Service Corps cohort dedicated to connecting Native American youth with historic preservation projects in national parks. To learn more about this program, visit: Indian Youth Service Corps - Historic Preservation Training Center (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
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Youth and military veterans are invited to join the Traditional Trades Advancement Program of the National Park Service. Learn skills, work in amazing places, and preserve the history that defines us all. Video: NPS / Kristi Rugg
Who Can Apply
- Youth must be between 18 and 30 years of age.
- Veterans must be between 18 and 35 years of age, and possess a DD214 with a discharge status of Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions.
How to ApplyAre you interested in joining TTAP? Awesome! TTAP positions are advertised year round. The following locations are currently recruiting for TTAP member positions:
- Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site – Cambridge, MA
- Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites - Hyde Park, NY
- Saugus Iron Works and Salem Maritime National Historic Sites – Saugus/Salem, MA
- National Capital Area – Washington, DC
- New River Gorge National Park and Preserve – Glen Jean, WV
- Shenandoah National Park – Luray, VA
- Arkansas Post National Memorial – Gillett, AR
- Gulf Islands National Seashore – Gulf Breeze, FL
- Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Park – Atlanta, GA
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Bayfield, WI
- Fort Larned and Nicodemus National Historic Site – Larned, KS
- Voyagers National Park – International Falls, MN
- Bandelier National Monument – Los Alamos, NM
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area – San Francisco, CA
- Haleakala National Park – Makawao, HI
- Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site – Ganada, AZ
- Pinnacles National Park – Paicines, CA
- Southern Four Corners Group – Chinle/Ganado/Shonto, AZ
- Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Pipe Spring National Monument – Springdale/Cedar City/Fredonia, UT
Applicant's Frequently Asked Questions
Several key components set TTAP apart from other corps-type programs offered to veterans and young adults. First, there is a combined need to train the next generation of skilled maintenance workers on public lands and provide invaluable skills to a generation that is not always satisfied with a traditional four-year education. It is estimated that 40% of the maintenance workforce in the National Park Service are eligible to retire in the next five years. Following the successful completion of the program, participants receive Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority enabling them to pursue positions in federal agencies. Skills gained also translate into private sector positions in construction trades, design, and engineering.
Second, the length of the program is significantly longer than most other programs – at least 20 weeks! Learning hands-on skills takes time; weeks, months, and even decades. The elongated terms allows for more time for experience, more exposure to more tools/trades/materials, and more time to develop a sense of place and meaning within work in the NPS.
By participating in TTAP you will:
- Build marketable job skills
- Receive a National Center for Construction Education and Research graduation certificate
- Have time to explore national parks
- Feel satisfaction, because you’ve made a difference
- Have paid experience and a lot of fun.
You will understand the interrelatedness of the National Park Service Mission and Historic Preservation and their connection to traditional trades. You will gain valuable trade skills and experiences that you will use to protect and preserve our national heritage and diversity of cultures.
You will find importance of your work and the pride you feel working hard, and as contributing member of a team, motivating one another while accomplishing preservation projects and working at some of the most beautiful places in the country.
You'll gain access to a network of subject matter experts, learn about future opportunities, and how to set yourself up for the next steps. And you'll walk away with certifications to prove it!
Participants will have had ample opportunity to network, learn new skills and explore potential jobs during their term of service. All of these factors make participants more likely to get hired.
ContactQuestions? Contact our team at email@example.com
What's it like?Hear from present and former participants in the Traditional Trades Advancement Program (formerly the Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program).
From TTAP to NPSA number of former TTAP participants are now full-time NPS employees! Hear from them how the program changed their lives!
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Pat Sutton talks about his experience in the Traditional Trades Advancement Program and how it led to a career with the National Park Service.
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Heather Alexander first started working in historic preservation as a participant in the Traditional Trades Advancement Program. Since completing TTAP, Heather has joined the NPS full-time. We caught up with her to hear about the experience from her perspective.
Last updated: May 19, 2022