WASHINGTON (AP) _ Four companies on Tuesday received the Malcolm Baldrige Awards, a congressional award that honors performance and quality.

STMicroelectronics, Inc.-Region Americas of Carrolton, Texas, won the top spot in the manufacturing category. Sunny Fresh Foods of Monticello, Minn., led the small business/manufacturing category, the first food manufacturer to receive a Baldrige Award.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., based in Atlanta, and BI, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based company that designs performance improvement programs, earned awards in the service category. This was the second time the Ritz-Carlton has won a Baldrige Award.

``All four have in common a focus on the future and a passion for performance improvement,'' said Commerce Secretary William M. Daley.

The Malcolm Baldrige Awards were named after a former commerce secretary. They were established by Congress in 1987 to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies.

The winners were chosen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency.