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|Friday, February 26, 1999 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DWD News Office
Candidates sought for 1999
Forward Award recognition
Madison, Wis. -- Applications now are being accepted for Wisconsin Forward Awards recognizing outstanding quality management, a state agency announced today.
Eligibility for the 1999 awards also has been expanded beyond the two sectors eligible for the first awards presented last year, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Added to the list for the first time are education, government and non-profit organizations, including healthcare. Remaining on the list are manufacturing and service businesses.
Applicants may be recognized in any of four categories, the highest of which is the Governors Award of Excellence. Serigraph, Inc., of West Bend, received the first Governors Award last year. A total of 10 other companies were recognized with awards in 1998 in the other categories.
Applications are submitted directly by organizations seeking recognition for their efforts. The two-step process requires the filing of an "intent to apply" notice by April 9, and completed applications by June 14.
The award recipients will be announced at special ceremonies Nov. 11.
Both steps include fees. The eligibility determination ("intent to apply") costs $150, while the fee for submitting a full application is $3 an employe up to a maximum of $3,000.
"The Forward Award program was established to annually recognize Wisconsin organizations for significant achievements in continuous improvement and performance management," said Linda Stewart, State Workforce Development Secretary.
Her agency provides administrative support to the Governors Council on Workforce Excellence, which oversees the Forward Award program.
"It also serves to encourage all Wisconsin organizations to assess their operations against rigorous standards and to strive for the level of excellence that distinguishes the best managed organizations around the world."
Examiners will be chosen in March from volunteers across Wisconsin selected for their expertise and experience in quality management. Special training is provided before they begin their duties, which may include a visit to the workplaces of those seeking the highest award level.
"One of the benefits of applying is the detailed evaluation by a team of award examiners that all applicants receive," Stewart said. "The feedback provides an outside perspective on an applicant organizations key strengths and opportunities for improvement in the award competition."
Stewart said the Council also is sponsoring a Conference for Performance Excellence being held March 25-26 in Oconomowoc. The conference will showcase the high-performance practices of Serigraph, Inc., as well as offer a self-assessment workshop for organizations beginning formal performance-excellence programs.
James S. Haney, president of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, serves as the chair of the Wisconsin Forward Award Task Force.
J. Michael Borden, chief executive officer of HUFCOR, Inc., of Janesville, and chair of the Council, said he sees the Forward Award program as an important incentive for business.
"As responsible business people, we must make all companies globally competitive or we will get blind-sided by the rest of the world.
"The Forward Award is a great incentive to help us get where we need to be, so we can continue to grow."
Those interested in applying should obtain the "1999 Criteria for Performance Excellent and Application Booklet" from the Forward Award Web site at <http://www.forwardaward.org>
Marie A. Lange,
Forward Award Coordinator,
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development,
P.O. Box 7972,
Madison, WI 53707
or toll-free 888/933-9475
or email at: email@example.com