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Covington Academy of Heritage Trades to offer masonry, woodworking workshops in April

The brand-new Covington Academy for Heritage Trades will hold introductory workshops in masonry/plaster and woodworking/windows in April as the City kicks off a workforce initiative focused on training a new generation of homebuilders and rehabbers in careers related to restoring historic buildings.

To enroll in the workshops, people can attend an information session held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the Kenton County Public Library at 502 Scott St.

At the session, attendees can also:

• Hear details about broader classes forming for the Covington Academy for Heritage Trades.
• Learn about the introductory weekends.
• Learn more about the hands-on fieldwork in the program.
• Find out about scholarships and opportunities to meet employers.

Attendees learn how to fix historic windows at the Belvedere School for Hands-On Preservation in Hannibal, Mo., run by preservationist Bob Yapp. Yapp has been working as a consultant to help the City of Covington start its restoration trades program. (Photo used courtesy of Bob Yapp, via City of Covington)

Attendees are encouraged to register for the information session (and get on the Academy’s mailing list) at Trades meeting signup.

“If you want a steady career in a city that values old buildings and has a lot of them, this is a great opportunity,” said Kaitlin Bryan, the City’s Historic Preservation Officer.

The goal of the heritage trades program is to train people for new careers, said Vicki Berling, who is Director of Professional Development at Enzweiler Building Institute, which recently opened a construction trades school – its second – in Latonia.

As outlined in a 2022 news release, “Restoration trades school coming soon,” the City hired the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky (which runs the Institute) to oversee the Academy of Heritage Trades. Classroom instruction will take place at the institute’s Latonia location with in-the-field work at the former Colonial Inn motel owned by the City at 1515 Madison Ave.

The weekend introductory workshops will help people decide whether such a career would be a good fit, learn about physical demands of such a career, and talk to would-be employers about available jobs. Those introductory workshops will be:

April 14-16, for “wood” careers, including carpentry, floors, wood-framed windows, and detailed wood trim.

April 28-30, for “trowel” careers, including historic masonry, plaster, and concrete. (Note this was originally scheduled in March but had to be rescheduled because of the weather.)

Following the introductory weekends, the Academy will begin classes in May and June for Historic Masonry Tuck Pointing and Historic Wood Window Restoration and Weatherization. Again, these classes are part of the occupational track of the academy and will not be open to the general public.

City of Covington

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  1. Julie Boone says:

    How much are the classes?

  2. James Smith says:

    What a fantastic opportunity! I love the idea of a city workforce initiative training individuals in ways to take care of their own city. All while learning a new skill. Brilliant!

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