Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Peter Dunn

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


This study describes and analyzes the psychological, social and work-related outcomes of unemployed steelworkers who participated in a labor adjustment program designed and delivered by personnel in Canada’s steel industry. The adjustment program, the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC) Worker Adjustment Program, is a co-operative labor-management venture that is considered as a model upon which to base future labor adjustment programs in sectors beyond steel. A qualitative case study approach was utilized. Data were collected primarily in depth interviews and participant observations with twenty-four program participants, program staff and government labor adjustment officials. CSTEC’s Worker Adjustment Program emphasizes training. A generous exception to the Canadian Unemployment Insurance Act enables program participants to collect Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to three years of training. Data analysis revealed that training often exerts important psychological and social impacts. An empirical classification of individually perceived benefits and deficits from training participation is presented. Benefits and deficits include outcomes pertaining to empowerment, motivation, and social effects. These psycho-social outcomes, however, are only temporary. Permanence is established through the degree to which subsequent employment is satisfactory.

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