WASHINGTON, D.C.—President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced that five organizations are the recipients of the 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest Presidential honor for organizational performance excellence. For the first time in the history of the Baldrige Award, nonprofit organizations have been selected.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:
"I am pleased to join President Bush in congratulating the five outstanding organizations that have been named to receive this year's Baldrige Award," said Secretary Gutierrez. "The organizations we recognize today have given us superb examples of innovation, excellence and world-class performance. They serve as role models for organizations of all kinds striving to improve effectiveness and increase value to their customers."
With these new recipients, the program celebrates its 20th anniversary. Along with recognizing the achievements of the award recipients, a key measure of the Baldrige National Quality Program's impact has been the widespread use of its Criteria for Performance Excellence, the guide designed to help organizations of all types improve their operations. Since 1987, about 10 million copies of the Baldrige criteria have been distributed. Downloads currently number about 1 million annually. Additionally, more than 40 U.S. states and more than 45 countries worldwide have implemented programs based on the Baldrige criteria.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 84 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process for the 2007 Baldrige Award recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early 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. This was expanded in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations (including 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, 72 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.
The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector.
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.