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Seventy-Six Apply for Nation’s Top Honor for Excellence

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2006

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Contact: Michael Baum

Seventy-six organizations have sent the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) their applications for the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's Presidential award for excellence. In addition to the 76 regular applicants, an additional 10 non-profit organizations applied to a pilot application program this year in preparation for 2007 when non-profit organizations will be eligible to apply for the award. While no awards will be presented to non-profits during the pilot phase, a private-sector team of examiners will review the applications and, like the other 2006 applicants, they will receive feedback on strengths and opportunities for improvement. The other applicants include three manufacturers, four service companies, eight small businesses, 16 education organizations, and 45 health care organizations. Over the next six months, teams of specially trained examiners will evaluate these 86 organizations. The 2006 Baldrige award recipients are expected to be announced in November. For more information on the Baldrige award program, see http://baldrige.nist.gov/.