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President Clinton Today Presents 1998 Baldrige Quality Award to Three U.S. Companies

In a ceremony in Washington, D.C., President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today presented the 1998 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to three manufacturers in recognition of their achievements in quality and business performance.

The three companies are: Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs, Long Beach, Calif.; Solar Turbines, San Diego, Calif.; and Texas Nameplate Co. Inc., Dallas, Texas.

"As America’s standard for business excellence, the Baldrige Quality Award has become a driving force in helping U.S. firms achieve leadership in the world’s competitive marketplace," the President said in announcing the winners on Nov. 17. "I congratulate the 1998 Baldrige award winning companies for their commitment to, and aggressive pursuit of excellence, and for their outstanding achievements in every aspect of their businesses," he said.

"With a focus on excellence in everything they do, these three companies are delighting their customers, giving their workers greater power and responsibility, and improving the bottom line. They can proudly be counted among America’s leading-edge corporations," said Secretary 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.  

Thirty-four companies have received Baldrige awards. They are given in manufacturing, service, and small business. Beginning later this year, education and health care awards also will be given. Non-profit and for-profit organizations will be eligible to apply.

To apply for the Baldrige award, organizations submit details on achievements and improvements they have made in seven key business areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and business/organizational performance results. Applications are reviewed by an independent board of examiners. Each applicant receives a "feedback" report citing strengths and opportunities for improvement.

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are used worldwide by thousands of organizations to assess and improve their overall performance. The 1999 criteria have a new, easier-to-use format, which includes a series of questions covering the seven key areas mentioned above. Since 1988, more than a million and a half copies of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have been distributed, and wide-scale reproduction by companies and electronic access add to that number significantly.

The Baldrige program is managed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology in conjunction with the private sector. 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 National Quality Program is available on the World Wide Web at

Released February 4, 1999, Updated November 27, 2017