Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Minnesota Quality AwardThe MN Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities Receives 1999 Minnesota Quality Award

Feb. 11, 2000 – The Minnesota Council for Quality announces two manufacturers, one service company, one educational institution and one government organization are winners of the 1999 Minnesota Quality Awards. Especially momentous is the first ever Achievement (Gold) Award earned by a government organization. The Minnesota Quality Award provides a service for organizations in all sectors, large and small, throughout the state to share in achievement, learning and recognition associated with achieving performance excellence and competitive advantages.

The awards were presented at the Minnesota Council for Quality Ninth Annual Minnesota Quality Award Celebration and Mini Expo on Friday, January 28, 2000. Gerald Carlson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, attended and spoke at the celebration. Commissioner Carlson extended Governor Ventura’s congratulations to each of the winning organizations and referred to them as role models for the Ventura Administration’s vision for business, trade and community development.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is a private, non-profit organization that actively builds partnerships with manufacturing, service, health care, educational and governmental organizations. Partnerships with the Minnesota Council for Quality provide organizations with access to key tools necessary to embark on a pathway of organizational excellence and quality. Besides facilitating and administrating the Minnesota Quality Award, the Minnesota Council for Quality aids organizations in defining individual pathways through the Minnesota Assessment Process and the Baldrige Express. In addition, the Minnesota Council for Quality provides educational and training opportunities for organizations interested in leveraging the concepts of Visionary Leadership, Valuing Employees and Partners, Managing Innovation, Management by Fact and Responsibility and Citizenship into competitive advantages.

The Board of Directors of the Minnesota Council for Quality extends its sincere congratulations to all five winning organizations: Schwarz Williams Companies, Inc (Golden Valley; service); North Star Steel Minnesota (St. Paul; manufacturing); Turkey Store Company (Faribault; manufacturing); University of Minnesota – Duluth, Academic Services and Student Life (Duluth; education); and Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (St. Paul; government).

Each of the winning organizations is very different from one another. However, all have developed a unique blueprint for excellence which incorporates eleven (11) core values and concepts including Customer-Driven Quality, Leadership, Continuous Improvement and Learning, Valuing Employees, Fast Response, Design Quality and Prevention, Long-Range View of the Future, Management by Fact, Partnership Development, Public Responsibility and Citizenship and Results Focus. The evaluation and judging criteria for the awards process stem from these core values.

Awards can be earned at four separate levels. The Commitment (Bronze) Award is received by organizations that have demonstrated serious commitment to self-assessment as a catalyst for improvement and a means of promoting competitive and organizational excellence. They are in the early stages of developing and implementing approaches to address criteria requirements. Organizations recognized at the Advancement (Silver) level have demonstrated, through their commitment and implementation of quality management principles, progress in building systematic approaches responsive to the basic purposes of the criteria. Such organizations are in the early stages of obtaining results. The Achievement (Gold) Award recipients demonstrate sound and effective approaches responsive to the overall requirements of the criteria. They are generally aligned throughout the organization and demonstrate some evaluation and refinement. Organizations recognized at this level demonstrate good trends for most areas important to their business requirements and have no major gap. Organizations earning the Excellence (Crystal) Award have achieved the highest level of organizational excellence by the purposefulness with which they continue to improve and build upon results and systems. Such organizations show refined approaches fully deployed with positive trends in key measures and results. They are well integrated and can be national and global role models.

Schwartz Williams Companies, Inc (Golden Valley; service) earned recognition at the Commitment (Bronze) level. Advancement (Silver) recognition was achieved by North Star Steel Minnesota (St. Paul; manufacturing); Turkey Store Company (Faribault; manufacturing) and University of Minnesota – Duluth, Academic Services and Student Life (Duluth, education). The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities attained recognition at the Achievement (Gold) level.

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities is located within the State Department of Administration and is responsible for carrying out the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, often referred to as the DD ACT. The mission of the Council is to provide information, education, and training to increase the independence, productivity, integration and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Governor appoints the Council with one-half of the membership comprised of people with disabilities and their families.

Since 1990, the Council has selected leadership development as its priority. The single most significant investment and long term commitment is its Partners in Policymaking® program created by the Council in 1986. This program is requested by organizations from around the world and is used globally.

Partners teaches leadership skills. Its graduates are equipped with knowledge and support and are encouraged to develop and strengthen their own partnerships with elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government, and participate in general community policymaking activities. A total of 447 individuals are Minnesota Partners graduates; more than 7,700 individuals have graduated from Partners programs nationally and internationally.

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities was recognized at the Commitment level in the 1997 Minnesota Quality Award. Since 1997, the Council has applied the quality framework to its work and to its suppliers. The Council states that it has adopted several quality practices in order to be more productive.

The Council has embraced the use of the Criteria to improve every facet of what it does and how it operates to improve business results. It has engaged its suppliers in alignment to the Criteria through their participation in coaching and MCQ training. Its Council members as well as staff learn and use best practices to improve their organization. Although constricted by traditional government that has not generally embraced integration, systems orientation and a focus on results rather than activities, the Council has made great strides by any measure.

The DD Council demonstrates a balanced approach to meeting the intent of the Performance Excellence Criteria and has no major flaws. Their leadership team is seeking an innovative approach to measuring ROI, return on investment, for stakeholders including taxpayers. Their commitment to share what they are doing with their peers, government agencies and others willing to learn is commendable.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is most pleased to present the Achievement Level award for the first time to a government agency. Congratulations to the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2301MNSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

This website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,120,136.00 with 83 percent funded by ACL/HHS and $222,000.00 and 17 percent funded by non-federal-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.