An attempt has failed to add more categories to those covered by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The budget appropriation for the program in fiscal year 1998 is $3 million. It does not include funds for a proposed expansion of the award into healthcare and education fields. Currently, two awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service, and small business. The four winners of the 1997 Baldrige award were the 3M Dental Products Div., Solectron Corp., Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., and Xerox Business Services. This month at a conference in Washington, the firms will analyze their strategies for quality improvement. A new book, written by Baldrige examiner Kicab Castaneda-Mendez aims to help other companies achieve similar quality gains. Titled "The Baldrige Assessor's Workbook," it is published by Quality Resources of New York City. The book offers readers a number of hands-on exercises.
The US Congress has extended an important tax credit for solar energy, a move that’s good news for future investments in this type of alternative energy and for many stakeholders in the solar industry.
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