Baldrige Program celebrates three decades of excellence
Thirty years ago, on August 20, 1987, President Reagan signed the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act in honor of “Mac” Baldrige, the late Secretary of Commerce, who had died less than a month earlier in a California rodeo accident. The legislation yielded what is today's Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
Intended to help improve our national competitiveness in a global economy, the Baldrige Program—managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and funded through the Baldrige Foundation—was initially tasked with encouraging and enabling businesses to improve the quality of their products and services.
Several state-level programs modeled after the Baldrige program were established soon after, including the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence in 1993.
In those 30 years, the Baldrige Program has evolved into one of the most successful public-private partnerships within the performance excellence community, yielding the Framework for Performance Excellence, improving hundreds of thousands of orgainzations, training tens of thousands of examiners and presenting 113 awards.
For a deep dive into this impressive milestone and the role Baldrige has played in the U.S., read Baldrige Director Robert Fangmeyer's August 24 "Blogrige" post.