Baldrige Award Winners Announced for 2001

President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Don Evans today announced five winners of the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s premier award for performance excellence and quality achievement. For the first time in the history of the Baldrige awards, winners were named in the education category.

The 2001 Baldrige Award recipients are:

  • Clarke American Checks, Inc., San Antonio, Texas (manufacturing);
  • Pal’s Sudden Service, Kingsport, Tenn. (small business);
  • Chugach School District, Anchorage, Alaska (education);
  • Pearl River School District, Pearl River, N.Y. (education); and
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wis. (education).

“President Bush and I congratulate the men and women who have won the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award,” said Commerce Secretary Evans. “Through their passion for excellence and their commitment to employees, customers, students, stakeholders and their communities, they have achieved extraordinary results. They represent the proud spirit of America and our strong resolve to excel.”

“We are especially pleased to announce the first Baldrige Award winners in the education category,” continued Evans. “They will be outstanding role models for 21st Century education organizations. As President Bush has so often said, if we succeed in educating our youth, many other successes will follow.”

In addition to including the first-ever winners in the education category, this year’s awards include the first winner in the quick service restaurant industry, Pal’s Sudden Service. Chugach School District, with just 30 faculty and staff, is not only one of the first education winners, it also is the smallest organization to win a Baldrige Award. Three of the 2001 winners also have won state quality awards: Clarke American Checks, 2001 Texas Award for Performance Excellence; Pal’s Sudden Service, 2001 Tennessee Quality Excellence Award; and Pearl River School District, 1994 New York Governor’s Excelsior Award.

These organizations are expected to receive the Baldrige Award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early in 2002.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is given to U.S organizations that have exemplary achievements in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and business results.

All applicants for the Baldrige Award undergo a rigorous examination process that ranges from 300 to 1,000 hours of outside review. Final-stage applicants are visited by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information. All applications are reviewed by an independent board of examiners primarily from the private sector. Each applicant receives a report citing strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Named after the 26th secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of US businesses. The award promotes quality awareness, recognizes the quality and performance achievements of US organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. It has five categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 46 organizations have received the Baldrige Award.

The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the US Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration, in conjunction with the private sector. You can read more about the Baldrige program at: <http://www.nist.gov>.