The End of "The Steel":  1980-1990

    By the time other American companies were feeling the effects of Reganomics, Bethlehem Steel had already dropped from its previously competitive status.  Enormous expenditure and staff cuts were the norm under the new chairman Donald Trautlein, and the city of Bethlehem could no longer ignore the fact that it was losing its single financial basis.  Thousands of ex-Steel employees flooded the job market, bringing with them related emotional and financial problems. Only in hindsight did the city see that the fate of the steel company had been written on the wall. Changing markets and outdated practices had taken their toll.  Now all the community could do was try to cope, and wonder what the character of their steel town would be like without the Steel. 


 Company Cutbacks  Why the Steel Failed  Unemployment in Bethlehem