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Living Trades Academy

Check out our newest video – featuring the Living Trades Academy! 

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) is pleased to announce the launch of a paid, hands-on ten-week job training program in the historic preservation trades. The Living Trades Academy (LTA) is a pilot program that will offer valuable training to Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park residents that will allow them to:

* repair and maintain their own homes;

* mentor others in their neighborhood to repair and maintain their homes;

* acquire valuable entry level skills for employment in the preservation field; and

* acquire business and entrepreneurship skills.

Under the guidance and supervision of professional preservation craftspeople, participants will gain the necessary basic knowledge in several preservation trades to be successful in the preservation field. They will work with traditional and modern building materials as well as appropriate tools and equipment to develop skills in preservation and receive a certificate once the program requirements have been met. The program will run for 10 weeks beginning in late February through the end of April 2018.

Class of 2018



Applicants must:

  1. Have a strong interest in pursuing hands-on preservation work as a vocation or avocation.
  2. Possess appropriate fine motor skill abilities and physical strength to successfully complete Classs work.
  3. Possess appropriate comprehension, verbal, written and math skills to complete requirements of the class.
  4. Agree to follow all safety instructions and use all available safety and personal protection equipment as instructed.
  5. Sign a liability and model release form. Photos and video from the training may be used to promote preservation trades training both within Michigan and elsewhere.
  6. Commit to the full ten-week course and be at the designated training site 8:00 am till 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
  7. Be 18 years old and a resident of Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park.
  8. Possess an appropriate temperament to work cooperatively and collaboratively in a small group.
  9. If selected for the training, agree to a criminal background check by MHPN.
  10. Have reliable transportation to and from the designated training site for the duration of the class.
  11. Wear appropriate work clothing (long sleeve shirt, long pants, work shoes & head covering).

The LTA will provide:

  1. All necessary tools – trainees may bring their own tools but they must be clearly marked.
  2. Personal Protection Equipment as needed.
  3. Lead Safe Work Practices training sufficient to qualify the trainee for EPA/RRP certification under the current EPA rules.
  4. Instruction in the business, marketing and entrepreneurial aspects of preservation trades.
  5. An hourly wage of $10.00 per hour.
  6. Light breakfast and lunch.



Living Trades Academy, a restoration job training program, launches in the North End, by Robin Runyan (Curbed Detroit, March 12, 2018)

Hands-on academy teaches Detroiters building trades, by Candice Williams (The Detroit News, March 10, 2018)

Michigan Historic Preservation Network creates Living Trade Academy to revitalize city, by Brandon Patterson (Detroit Free Prerss, March 2, 2018)

New jobs training program teaches unemployed, underemployed Detroiters how to restore older homes, by Marge Sorge (The Hub Detroit, March 1, 2018)

Living Trades Academy aims to train more skilled workers in restoring homes, by Robin Runyan (Curbed Detroit, July 5, 2017)