MILWAUKEE, WI- The Baldrige Foundation remains committed to supporting the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in 2012, despite the elimination of federal funding for the program.

Last week, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed an appropriations bill that eliminates all federal funding for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for fiscal year 2012. In prior years, federal funding has been joined by funds from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, along with application fees and the service of nearly 1,000 volunteers to carry out the program.

The Baldrige Program provides improvement practices, principles and methodologies to strengthen U.S. organizations - enhancing their competitiveness, quality and productivity.

“We’re extremely disappointed that Congress and President Obama don’t see the value of this effective program,” said Paul Borawski, CEO of ASQ, the non-profit organization that administers the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. “The data is compelling and the testimony is powerful: Baldrige is a proven way to fix what is not working in America and to help make us great again - one organization at a time.”

A new independent economic study of the Baldrige program conservatively estimates a 1,252-to-one return on the government’s investment.

Another study estimates the program provides nearly $25 billion in benefits to the economy. Baldrige award recipients that used the program methodology for six continuous years showed a median growth of 57%, revenue growth of 93%, and job growth of 63%. During the same period, industries from which the recipients came had 3.2% of job growth.

The Baldrige Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that supports the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The Foundation has supported the BPEP for more than 20 years and has committed to funding the program in 2012.

Meanwhile, key program partners - including the Foundation, the Alliance for Performance Excellence, and ASQ - will explore alternative business and funding models to sustain the mission of Baldrige in the future.

“We all know that the Baldrige Criteria offer tremendous value in driving performance excellence throughout the country,” Borawski said. “It is the top program for driving performance excellence across every sector and type of organization, and for making our business, health care, nonprofits and educational institutions more competitive, more efficient, and more successful in generating and sustaining positive outcomes.”