Heritage Trades Academy ready for enrollment

Full curriculum now available to teach in-demand skills

for work on historic buildings

COVINGTON, Ky. – After a series of weekend and week-long workshops earlier this year on topics like old-style wood windows and tuckpointing, the Covington Academy of Heritage Trades is ready for the big time: In-depth classes that will help “students” find new careers by mastering the skills of restoring old buildings in a historically sensitive manner.

The Academy is now accepting enrollment for its first full curriculum of fall programs, with classes beginning Sept. 18. They will meet four days a week (Monday through Thursday) and run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., depending on the instructor.

The five-, seven-, or eight-week courses will cover topics like historic masonry, interior carpentry, box gutters, plaster, historic painting, stained & decorative glass, historic window restoration & weatherization, and repairing old floors to their former glory.

The in-depth curriculum will arm workers with essential skills and certification to launch their careers. The classes follow on the heels of the succinct workshops that were set up to whet participants’ appetites and confirm their desire to immerse into a career in the heritage trades.

“I am excited to finally expand beyond workshops,” said Kaitlin Bryan, the City’s Historic Preservation Specialist. “The curriculum we have in place for the fall will allow students to obtain heritage trades certificates from the Enzweiler Building Institute. These certificates will help students improve their resumes, gain credibility with employers, or start their own businesses.”

Bryan added that while the program is primarily focused on workforce training, courses will also be open to homeowners and weekend project “warriors” who can take the courses weekly if certification is not their end goal. 

A public information session to learn more about the fall enrollment will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 30. It’s at 6 p.m. at the Hellmann Creative Center at 321 MLK Jr. Blvd./12th St. Off-street parking will be available.

‘Classroom’ rich with opportunities

Roughly 70 percent of the housing units in Covington are 50 years or older, with nearly half built prior to 1940. That fact spurred the City to develop the Academy as a way to not only expand the list of skilled craftworkers with the skill to preserve and restore that housing stock but also to set individuals on track to succeed in a specialized career.

The Academy is administered by the Enzweiler Trade Building Institute, a trade school founded by the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky, which has long offered apprenticeship-style training in skilled construction trades.

“We were so impressed with the students who attended our first set of courses,” said Vicki Berling, director of the Enzweiler Building Institute. “We cannot wait to engage more people as we continue to get people excited about the heritage/restoration trades.”

The classroom part of the instruction will take place at Enweiler’s Latonia campus, 3923 Winston Ave. But the hands-on instruction on techniques and skills will take place in the Academy’s “Living Lab,” a historic building at 1515 Madison Ave. that was built in the 1880s as a single-family home but later housed the infamous Colonial Inn Motel. Suffering from decades of neglect and now owned by the City of Covington, the building’s veranda-roofed porch, gabled dormers, exquisite woodwork, hardwood floors, and other historic features provide an ideal hands-on classroom.

Individuals looking to enroll in programs are required to participate in an Introductory Weekend. The 12-hour overview provides an in-person look at the Academy’s Living Lab space and insight into the varied topics covered in its programs.

You must be 18 to enroll. To enroll in classes for the 2023-24 academic year, apply at Covington Academy of Heritage Trades.

The City is offering tuition scholarships to Covington residents to attend the school’s workshops, as well as provide them with equipment.

Comprehensive program

Additional offerings include a Comprehensive Training Program in Skilled Trades. During 156 hours of classroom contact, students will complete a condensed Heritage Restoration Trades program where each week students cover a different heritage trade to get a general understanding of the restoration industry. Students in the program will also become certified in CPR, Lead RRP, and OSHA 10.

The program is in partnership with the Life Learning Center, and students on this track will also have the opportunity to dive deep into professional development skills training. The 13-week program costs $3,450.

To learn more about the 13-week program, see Comprehensive Training Program in the Skilled Trades: A Partnership with the Life Learning Center.

Note that the Enzweiler Building Institute is providing scholarships for Kenton County residents to attend the comprehensive training tracks.


For more information, contact Vicki Berling at or (859) 640-4249.


# # #