MILWAUKEE- As part of theAmerica Needs Baldrige!campaign, supporters of theBaldrige Performance Excellence Program are reaching out to Congress on Thursday, Sept. 8, to encourage continuing federal funding for the program.

Earlier this year, two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate federal funding for the Baldrige Program for the fiscal year 2012. The campaign, organized by the America Needs Baldrige committee, asks supporters to call, fax, email, or visit their Congressional representatives on Sept. 8. The goal is to build a critical mass of awareness in Congress of the Baldrige Program’s importance to America and to restore $10 million in federal funding for fiscal year 2012. Federal funding is matched with funds from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, along with applicant fees and the service of nearly 1,000 volunteers.

“Baldrige is about helping organizations in all sectors of the economy by driving economic development and job creation,” says Debbie J. Collard, chair of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. “That’s a vital message in today’s economic climate. This campaign breaks through the noise by issuing a call to action to Congressional members on the same day and sharing one simple message: America needs Baldrige.”

The Baldrige Program provides leadership for the learning and sharing of successful strategies and performance improvement practices, principles, and methodologies to strengthen U.S. organizations. This program is the only U.S. public-private partnership dedicated to improving U.S. organizations so they can compete globally. It educates business, education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations on best practices in organizational management and business excellence. The federal funding is only a small portion of the total amount of hours, funding, and value contributing to the Baldrige Program.

On Sept. 8, supporters will emphasize ways in which the Baldrige Program improves the efficiency and competitiveness of America’s businesses, schools, and healthcare; increases tax revenue; creates jobs; saves taxpayer dollars; and keeps America competitive. For example:

  • In 2010, the 83 Baldrige program award applicants represented almost 300,000 jobs, $38 billion in revenues, and more than 80 million customers.
  • Baldrige award recipients that used program methodology for six continuous years showed a median growth of 57%, revenue growth of 93% in profit, and job growth of 63% (in comparison, job growth was 3.2% on average for the same period of time in industries from which the recipients came).

    Supporters will also share personal experiences as award applicants and examiners for the Baldrige Program.