Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards

 

November 14, 1988

 

Well, good morning. In nearly 2 weeks, America will celebrate Thanksgiving, a time when the Nation looks back, takes stock, and gives thanks for the personal and economic freedoms with which Americans are blessed. As a nation, we have much to be thankful for. We've continued to enjoy the longest peacetime expansion in our nation's history. Real gross national product has risen by 26 percent since the recovery started 6 years ago. American industry is again the class of world class competition.

 

Yes, America's future is bright. Today's ceremony reflects both the progress we've made and the promises that we have yet to keep. America's economic strength depends on industry's ability to improve productivity and quality and to remain on the cutting edge of technology. And that's why the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is so important. The award recognizes the contribution that companies across the country are making to our economic growth -- companies that make the highest quality products.

 

And today we salute three corporations that reflect American industry's dedication to quality. Each of them, and thousands of others, help keep America strong by making American products the best products available. They and others like them exemplify the belief that quality counts first, foremost, and always. The one trait that characterizes these winners is that they realize that quality improvement is a neverending process, a companywide effort in which every worker plays a critical part. They realize that customer satisfaction through better quality is the goal. And they know that America's economic strength and future depend more and more upon the quality of its products.

 

This award was established and carried out in the spirit of cooperation between government and the private sector. And that's the way it should be. We owe a debt of gratitude to the foundation that helped support this award and the many private sector individuals, especially the examiners, who made the award possible through their own dedication to quality. And a word of thanks to Bill Verity and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. They have worked very well with the private sector to ensure that this award truly sets a national standard.

 

This award has a special meaning for me because it's a fitting way to honor a good friend, Malcolm Baldrige, a dynamic businessman and a great Secretary of Commerce. Today we honor Mac with a lasting tribute to quality.

 

And now it's time to recognize the awardees. These awards are won by companies, but they're earned by individuals, working together in the quest for excellence. So, now I'll turn the podium over to Secretary Verity, and he will make the announcement.

 

Note: The President spoke at 11:38 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. The awards were presented to the following corporate representatives: Robert W. Galvin, chairman of Motorola, Inc.; John C. Marous, chairman and chief executive officer of Westinghouse Electric Corp.; and R. Arden Sims, president and chief executive officer of Globe Metallurgical, Inc.