After several months of planning and collaboration, the Historic Preservation Training Center, poised to be located at Westside Regional Park, is taking another step forward this week. House Bill H.R.4494, the Frederick Jobs and Historic Preservation Training Center Land Acquisition Act introduced by Congressman David Trone (MD-6), went before the U.S. House of Representatives today, November 9, 2021. Mayor O’Connor provided testimony in support of H.R.4494 in addition to project partner, Preservation Maryland.
This legislation will allow the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC), currently located in downtown Frederick, to acquire nearby land in Westside Regional Park to establish a larger historic trades’ workforce development training center and workshop, thereby enabling the National Park Service to expand its trades’ training capacity and more efficiently achieve its mission nationwide. Due to sustainable growth and new initiatives, the HPTC has now outgrown its existing space.
“The City of Frederick is honored to be the home of the HPTC,” wrote Mayor Michael O’Connor. “Preservation is part of our lived experience as Downtown Frederick is home to one of the largest collections of preserved historic urban fabric in the nation. HPTC is ideally located in Frederick!”
The City of Frederick has been collaborating with Preservation Maryland for several months on this project. Preservation Maryland, a non-profit working to preserve and invest in historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes across the state, powers the national workforce development initiative The Campaign for Historic Trades. The Campaign creates hands-on opportunities for individuals looking to explore, build, or expand historic trades careers, many of which take place at the Historic Preservation Training Center, an immeasurably valuable resource in Frederick.
“H.R.4494 represents an investment not only in jobs training but also an investment in preserving the physical vestiges of our nation’s diverse history from which future generations can learn,” shared President and CEO of Preservation Maryland, Nicholas Redding.
In 2018, HPTC worked to establish the Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program, a paid, service-learning experience that provides hands-on training for young adults and recent veterans. The trainees meet in Frederick for orientation and then disperse to parks across the country for their service and training.
If passed, the bill would authorize a one-time, $1 million appropriation to acquire the land identified by the National Park Service and The City of Frederick to facilitate a new Historic Preservation Training Center.