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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on November 23 named seven organizations as recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. This marks the first year that three small businesses have been selected at one time and only the second instance in the award's 23-year history that a total of seven organizations are being honored.
The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients – listed with their category – are:
MEDRAD receives the Baldrige Award for the second time, having also been selected in the manufacturing category in 2003.
"Today we honor the country's most innovative organizations and the people who make them great," Locke said. "This year's recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award embody the ingenuity and creativity that characterizes the American spirit and drives America forward. Innovation is at the heart of U.S. job creation, competitiveness and global strength, and the accomplishments of these outstanding leaders are an inspiration to us all.
"This award is unique in that it honors the collective effort of an entire organization that has systematically strived to achieve excellence in all aspects of its work. Today's honorees demonstrate how teamwork and a shared vision can lead not only to organizational success but also to nationwide advancements in innovation and economic competitiveness."
The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 83 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process for each of the recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., next year.
Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. Congress expanded the program in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations such as charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 87 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is managed by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit agencies about the practices of best-in-class organizations; and recognizes national role models by honoring them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence. For more information, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige.
As a nonregulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.