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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 6, 2001

Remarks by the President During 2000 Malcolm Baldrige Awards
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel
Crystal City, Virginia

1:52 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Mr. Secretary. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for that kind introduction, and thank you for agreeing to serve your country once again. My friend, Don Evans, couldn't make it, but we have a pretty darn good replacement with Norm Mineta.

Dr. Wood, thank you very much, sir, for your leadership. You may wonder why Dr. Wood has got such white hair. My mother's on his board. (Laughter and applause.) And if she were here, she would say she has white hair because of me. (Laughter.)

I'm thrilled to see the Baldrige family. Thank you all for being here, and than you for staying with this award. They tell me you never miss, Midge, and that's important.

I want to congratulate the winners who are here, the CEOs, the leaders, the employees, the rowdy Texans. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: (Cheers and whistles.)

THE PRESIDENT: I rest my case. (Laughter.) It's an honor to be here. Before I begin, I would like to update you on the situation in China. Earlier this morning, I talked with General Sealock who, once again, visited with our crew for about an hour today and reports that they are doing just fine. (Applause.)

They are housed in officers' quarters and they are being treated well. We're proud of these young men and women who are upholding the high standards of our Armed Forces. We know this is a difficult time for their families, and I thank them for their patriotism and their patience. We're working hard to bring them home through intensive discussions with the Chinese government, and we think we're making progress.

And now, to the business at hand. It's an honor to be here, to be a part of an award ceremony that has stood the test of time. And the reason why is that it's based on principles, such as high standards, quality, and excellence.

The philosophy of Malcolm Baldrige and the Baldrige Awards make clear that everyone in an organization has a voice, a philosophy which trusts everyone with responsibility. Quality comes from giving people the tools and training their jobs require, the authority they need to do their work the way they think is best; the dignity that comes with knowing that their views matter. To do good work, we need great workers and great companies, such as those represented here, treat great workers with respect and fairness.

The Baldrige way is good business. The Hypothetical Baldrige Index, a stock market index composed of the shares of those Baldrige winners that are publicly traded, has outperformed the S&P 500 for seven years in a row. As the example of Los Alamos National Bank shows, caring for our communities is a form of quality as well. And that quality will be rewarded with customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

The Baldrige quality message is coming to health care and to education. Health care and education were added as categories in 1999. I realize there are no winners yet, but 25 organizations applied in '99 and 19 more in the year 2000. I look forward to presenting the first Baldrige Award in these categories soon.

We thank the Baldrige Foundation, the examiners, the judges, the foundation members, all the volunteers who work so hard. And thank you for your devotion to the highest ideals of American business.

These efforts do justice to the memory of an extraordinary man, Malcolm Baldrige, one of this country's outstanding public servants. He served as Commerce Secretary at a time when many doubted that American goods could compete in world markets. He dedicated himself to proving the doubters wrong. He succeeded, and America is stronger thanks to him and the award established to honor him.

Thank you for having me. (Applause.)

END 2:00 P.M. EDT

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