President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez announced six winners of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for quality and performance excellence.
The 2005 Baldrige Award recipients are:
- Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., Monticello, Minn. (manufacturing)
- DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations, New Orleans, La. (service)
- Park Place Lexus, Plano, Texas (small business)
- Richland College, Dallas, Texas (education)
- Jenks Public Schools, Jenks, Okla. (education)
- Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Mich. (health care)
This is the first time that a community college, an automotive dealership and an oil industry business have been named as Baldrige Award recipients. Sunny Fresh Foods is a two-time Baldrige Award recipient; it received the award in the small business category in 1999. Baldrige Award recipients can reapply after five years.
Malcolm Baldrige was Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his death in a rodeo accident in July 1987. Baldrige was a proponent of quality management as a key to this country’s prosperity and long-term strength. He took a personal interest in the quality improvement act that was eventually named after him and helped draft one of the early versions. In recognition of his contributions, Congress named the award in his honor.
The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses—manufacturing and service, small and large—and to education and health care organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.
Congress established the award program in 1987 to recognize U.S. organizations for their achievements in quality and performance and to raise awareness about the importance of quality and performance excellence as a competitive edge. The award is not given for specific products or services. Three awards may be given annually in each of these categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, and health care. In October 2004, President Bush signed into law legislation that authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program to include non-profit and government organizations. The program may begin to solicit applications from non-profit organizations in 2006 for a pilot program, with awards commencing in 2007.
While the Baldrige Award and the Baldrige recipients are the very visible centerpiece of the U.S. quality movement, a broader national quality program has evolved around the award and its criteria. A report, Building on Baldrige: American Quality for the 21st Century, by the private Council on Competitiveness, said, “More than any other program, the Baldrige Quality Award is responsible for making quality a national priority and disseminating best practices across the United States.”
The U.S. Commerce Department’s NIST manages the Baldrige National Quality Program in close cooperation with the private sector.