Covington, Kentucky is rich in historic character and admired for its near encyclopedic representation of architectural styles. About 70% of its 14,000 housing units are 50 years or older, and nearly half were built prior to 1940. It is this fact that led the City of Covington to spur the development of the Covington Academy of Heritage Trades (CAHT) to address the need to preserve and restore its housing stock.
The CAHT also provides a bridge for women, people of color, and veterans, among others, to access living-wage jobs through its training. To that end, CAHT is committed to supporting its students throughout the learning process through services that address common barriers to education, such as language, transportation, and childcare.
The Covington Academy of Heritage Trades is administered by the Enzweiler Building Institute (EBI), a trade school founded in 1967 by the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky. EBI was the first trade school in the country formed by a chapter of the National Association of Home Builders. It has been in continuous operation since its formation and now provides apprenticeship-style training in seven skilled trades: carpentry, electric, facilities maintenance & remodeling, HVAC, masonry, plumbing and welding. EBI also operates an “Introduction to the Skilled Trades” Program for high-school juniors and seniors.
The EBI’s training facility in the Latonia section of Covington is the “home” of the CAHT. In addition, a property known as the Colonial Inn, located in the heart of Covington on Madison Avenue, serves as the program’s “living lab.”
CAHT uses this historic building on Madison Avenue in Covington as its primary site for hands-on learning activities. The building, features a veranda-roofed porch, gabled dormers and exquisite woodwork. It was built in the 1880’s as a glorious single-family home but has suffered from neglect over the past decades. CAHT’s goal is to convert the property into an office building while restoring its many historic features.