As a fellow in the 2021 Nonprofit Innovation Lab, hosted by the Social Enterprise Greenhouse, members of the Providence Preservation Society team spent eight months carefully crafting and honing a plan that would further advance our existing trades training and workforce development programs. In front of a panel of judges, broadcast on Rhode Island PBS, PPS pitched our idea for a community workshop — a place where we can reliably offer workforce training programs and where fledgling preservation businesses can find support in the journey. This community space would allow graduates of our programs to have access to specialty tools and storage space, business guidance and skills building, and our wide network of industry connections.
The Community workshop would provide space both for our own training programs and for working preservation tradespeople, furthering access to trades training and putting preservation skills in the hands of our neighbors. A shared space will offer lead-safe workspaces, materials, and additional support for those learning and practicing the skills necessary to maintain Providence’s historic building stock.
Finding affordable, indoor workspace is one of the major obstacles independent contractors working in this field face. Our community workshop lowers the barrier for people starting out in the preservation trades, while also establishing a learning lab to teach a new generation of people skilled in the historic building trades. Currently in the planning stage, the PPS community workshop has the potential to become a thriving center of preservation trades in the region.
See our full community workshop proposal here.