The workshops varied considerably but had two common objectives:
- to train adults who proved "suitable" for competitive employment, and
- to provide long term or permanent employment for adults whose work skills were "not minimally acceptable to competitive industry."
Those who were considered "placeable" after training were classified as "deferred placeable" while those who were seen as only able to work in sheltered settings were classified "sheltered employable". In the language of the day, the "deferred placeable" were in the "high educable range" while the "sheltered employable" were in the lower educable and high trainable range.