QIC Awards

Every year the American National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) grants Quality in Construction (QIC) awards to any asphalt producer, paving contractor, and/or road owner in the United States who completes a project “that deliver(s) on the promise of high performance and drivability.“ 

In 2014, 205 projects were honored with a QIC Award, and of those 90 projects were singled out for their use for sustainable construction practices (such as using recycled materials). Some of the 2014 winning projects include:

Golden Gate Constructors of San Jose, California for work on the San Francisco International Airport. The company had to construct new taxiways to allow for installation of an engineered material arrestor system. Crews worked round the clock to produce a high quality pavement under budget and 30 days ahead of schedule, allowing an early reopening of the runways.

Everett Dykes Grassing Co. Inc. of Cochran, Georgia for work on SR 27 in Appling County. The project included milling, resurfacing, and shoulder rehabilitation, and through the use of careful paving techniques and careful quality control, the company produced a pavement that was 58 percent smoother than the previous road.

J.H. Rudolph & Co. Inc. of Evansville, Indiana for work on Evansville Regional Airport, which included rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction work. Paving with multiple laydown techniques and employing strict quality control, J. H. Rudolph & Co. achieved a smooth pavement seven days ahead of schedule.

Earle Asphalt Co. of Farmingdale, New Jersey for work on SH 33 in Monmouth County. The project required the mill and overlay of both westbound and eastbound roads to achieve a 36.5 percent improvement in ride quality. Paving crews worked at night to limit traffic disruptions.

Malcolm Baldrige Award

This award was established in 1987 by the U.S. Congress in order to raise awareness of quality management and to recognize American companies that use successful quality management systems. 

Initially, awards were only given in 3 categories: manufacturing, service businesses, and small businesses. However, in 1999 education and healthcare categories were added, and finally in 2007 a government and nonprofit category was added. 

Up to 3 awards can be given in each category annually, and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the award. Recipients are chosen based on their performance in seven areas: 

  1. Leadership: How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.

2. Strategic planning: How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.

3. Customer and market focus: How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.

4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage performance.

5. Human resource focus: How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.

6. Process management: How the organization designs, manages and improves key processes.

7. Business/organizational performance results: How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.

Praise Inflation

Awards in the American culture are omnipresent, ubiquitous – everywhere. A critical, and self-critical, discussion has begun. It is small, but growing. Many in the U.S. believe that there is too much praised given, often when not earned, often inflated.

The fear is that generations of Americans are being raised with unrealistic expectations, with an inaccurate estimation of themselves, of their abilities. The danger is that these generations will become frustrated, angry, or even worse, not willing to work as hard as is needed in order to succeed.

A growing number of Americans are no longer willing to call things great, super, fantastic, awesome, or amazing. They do not believe that schools systems should give grades higher than what is statistically possible, such as higher than a 4.0, which is equivalent to an A or a 1.0.

… of the Month

Americans value public recognition. To be recognized in the presence of peers, customers, friends, family brings real satisfaction. And it takes place on a daily basis in the U.S.

In schools, at the worksplace, in sports, politics and business. Americans track the ups, the downs, who’s winning, who’s losing. The more quantifiable, the better. Statistics. Rankings. Percentages.

It can be comical. It can be inflationary. In some cases, it has become a bit absurd. But it speaks to both the importance and the form of feedback in American society. Americans are motivated by recognition, given in public.

Acknowledgement: recognition or favorable notice of an act or achievement.