WASHINGTON — President Reagan on Monday recognized the winners of a new national business award for quality control, saying their accomplishments helped America become more competitive in world markets.
The first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, to be presented annually, was presented to Motorola Inc. and Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s commercial nuclear fuel division in the manufacturing category, and to Globe Metallurgical Inc. of Beverly, Ohio, in the small company category.
The award was created by Congress last year in honor of Baldrige, who was killed in a rodeo accident in California in July, 1987, while serving as secretary of commerce.
Supporters hope honoring U.S. companies for their quality-control efforts will boost the standing of U.S. products in overseas markets. The Baldrige prize is modeled after the Deming Prize, which Japan has been awarding since 1951 to recognize achievements in quality by Japanese companies.
W. Edwards Deming is an American quality-control expert revered in Japan for his work with Japanese companies after World War II.
"Today's ceremony reflects both the progress we have made and the promises that we have yet to keep," Reagan said. "America's economic strength depends on industry's ability to improve its productivity and quality."
C. William Verity, who succeeded Baldrige as commerce secretary, said the awards were a direct answer to critics who "still think it is fashionable to question the quality of products that are marked Made in America. . . . Based on the strength of the applications received this year, I think it is clear that the winners' accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg in a back-to-quality movement in this country."
No Winners for Service
Commerce Department officials said 66 U.S. companies entered the competition for the awards. The legislation allows up to two awards to be presented in the three categories: manufacturing, services and small companies with fewer than 500 employees.
However, the judges decided not to make any awards in services this year and only one award in the small business category.
Accepting the awards were Robert W. Galvin, chairman of the board of Motorola; John C. Marous, chairman and chief executive of Westinghouse, and Arden C. Sims, president of Globe Metallurgical.