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PRO-TEC Coating Company Wins Prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

U.S. Department of Commerce selects Ohio coated sheet steel provider based on performance excellence

PRNewswire
LEIPSIC, Ohio
11.20.2007

LEIPSIC, Ohio, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Commerce has selected PRO-TEC Coating Company, a provider of world-class coated sheet steel in coil form primarily to the quality-critical automotive industry, as a recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for 2007.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Commerce selects a small number of companies in seven areas for the quality excellence award, which is traditionally presented by the president of the United States.

The Baldrige Award recognizes organizations for their achievements in quality and performance, and it raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence as a competitive edge. PRO-TEC won in the Small Business category (defined as employing 500 people or fewer).

"Receiving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a tremendous honor for PRO-TEC, and we'd like to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce for this recognition," said PRO-TEC President Paul Worstell. "This award is a tribute to our dedicated PRO-TEC associates and to our parent organizations, United States Steel Corporation and KOBE Steel, whose traditions of quality and constant improvement are the foundation for our success at PRO-TEC."

The Baldrige Award is the top honor a U.S. company can receive for quality achievement and performance excellence. Criteria for the award include: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and business results.

PRO-TEC is one of only five companies to win the award in 2007, and it is the only company to win in the Small Business category.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez notified Worstell that PRO-TEC was chosen to receive the award. Award recipients will be showcased at the Quest for Excellence XX (20) Conference, the official conference of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in April 2008, in Washington, D.C.

President George W. Bush is expected to formally present the award to PRO-TEC at a separate ceremony to be scheduled next year.

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the Baldrige National Quality Program in close cooperation with the private sector. The award is named after Malcolm Baldrige, the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1981 to 1987, who was known as a proponent of quality management as a key to the long-term prosperity and strength of the nation. For more information about the Malcolm Baldrige Award program and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, visit http://www.quality.nist.gov/ .

About PRO-TEC

PRO-TEC Coating Company, Leipsic, Ohio, provides world-class coated sheet steel in coil form primarily to the quality-critical automotive industry. The product helps to improve vehicle crashworthiness as well as fuel economy through weight reduction. PRO-TEC is a 50/50 joint venture partnership of United States Steel Corporation and KOBE Steel, Ltd., of Japan. The company is privately held. PRO-TEC organizational culture blends the strong American steel-making tradition of United States Steel Corporation and KOBE's technical and analytical Japanese style with the strong work ethic and family values of rural Northwest Ohio to produce a superior product.

SOURCE: PRO-TEC Coating Company

CONTACT: Matt Schroder of Hart Associates, +1-419-893-9600, cell,
+1-419-345-0036, mschroder@hartinc.com , or Shannon Shartell of PRO-TEC
Coating Company, +1-419-943-1100, shartess@proteccoating.com

Web site: http://www.quality.nist.gov/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/929150.html

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