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Aircraft, Turbine, and Label Manufacturers Named Today To Receive 1998 Baldrige Award

Two large manufacturers of aircraft and industrial gas turbines and a small manufacturer of identification and information labels were announced today by President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William M. Daley to receive the 1998 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in recognition of their achievements in quality and business excellence. The companies are: Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs, Long Beach, Calif.; Solar Turbines Inc., San Diego, Calif.; and Texas Nameplate Co. Inc., Dallas, Texas.

"The President and I extend our congratulations to the men and women of these three companies. With a focus on excellence in everything they do, these agile and efficient companies are delighting customers, investing workers with greater power and responsibility, and improving their bottom line. They can proudly be counted among America’s leading-edge corporations," said Daley.

Named after a former Secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses by promoting quality awareness, recognizing quality and business achievements of U.S. companies, and publicizing these companies’ successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 34 companies have received the Baldrige Award.

Following are brief descriptions of the 1998 Baldrige Award recipients:

  • Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs: Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs, known as A&T, designs, manufactures and supports military transport aircraft. One of its major products is the C-17, designed to airlift large, heavy cargo to locations around the world. Based in Long Beach, Calif., A&T has 8,700 employees. In addition to other awards, A&T received the California Governor’s Golden State Quality Award for management in 1996 and its Macon, Ga., facility received the Georgia Governor’s Employer of the Year Award in 1998. In addition to California and Georgia, A&T also has sites in St. Louis, Mo.; Seattle, Wash.; and San Antonio, Texas; as well as at Air Force bases in Oklahoma, California and South Carolina.
  • Solar Turbines Inc.: Based in San Diego, Calif., Solar Turbines designs and manufactures industrial gas turbines for power generation, natural gas compression and pumping systems for sale in the United States and worldwide. Solar Turbines is one of the 50 largest exporters in the United States. A subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., Solar Turbines has 6,200 employees at 15 U.S. sites and in 23 foreign nations. In 1995, Solar Turbines received a "Best in Class" California U.S. Senate Productivity Award in large manufacturing.
  • Texas Nameplate Co. Inc.: Founded in 1946, Texas Nameplate manufactures and sells identification and information labels used on a variety of products, including oil field equipment, truck and trailer vehicles, and electronic and computer equipment. With 66 employees, Texas Nameplate is the smallest company ever to receive the Baldrige Award. The company has two locations in Dallas, Texas. TNC received the Texas Quality Award in 1996.

To apply for the Baldrige Award, companies must submit details showing their achievements and improvements in seven key business areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource development and management, process management, and business results. Applications are reviewed by an independent board of examiners. Each applicant receives a "feedback" report citing strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Baldrige Awards are given in manufacturing, service, small business, and, starting in 1999, education and health care.

President Clinton and Secretary Daley are expected to present the Baldrige Award to these companies at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early next year.

In conjunction with the private sector, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the Baldrige National Quality Program. As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

Further information on the Baldrige Award winners is available on the World Wide Web at or by calling NIST Public and Business Affairs at (301) 975-2762. Further information on the Baldrige National Quality Program is available on the World Wide Web at, or by calling (301) 975-2036.

Released November 17, 1998, Updated November 27, 2017