The Alabama Performance Excellence Program (ALPEx) provides support to Alabama organizations seeking to achieve unprecedented levels of quality and performance. A means of this support is through an award program modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria, a team of volunteer Examiners evaluate organizations and provide them with detailed feedback that can be used to improve their organization’s processes and results.   These criteria provide a systems perspective for improving an organization’s performance. They reflect validated, leading edge management best practices against which an organization can benchmark. With their acceptance nationally and internationally as the model for performance excellence, the Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria represent a common language for sharing best practices among organizations and will serve to enhance the competitiveness of Alabama businesses. As organizations grow and improve, their communities benefit from increased revenue and job opportunities as well as improved health care, education, manufacturing, small businesses, non-profits, and government products and services.