The Communities of Excellence 2026 Community Recognition Program

Communities of Excellence 2026, in partnership with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, is pleased to announce the first level of the Communities of Excellence Recognition Program—Commitment to Community Excellence. 

At this level, communities respond to the Community Profile section of the Community Excellence Builder, describing their mission, their vision, and the key factors that lead to success. They also explain their performance improvement system, give an example of an improvement to a key initiative or process that was a consequence of the implementation of the performance improvement system, and describe the key results they will track related to the health, educational attainment, and economic vitality of the community.  This will provide a strong foundation for the second step, Journey to Community Excellence, which will be announced at the end of 2017.

In parallel with Baldrige Program’s mission, the purpose of Communities of Excellence 2026 and the Recognition Program is threefold:

  1. To develop a nationally recognized standard of community performance excellence
  2. To establish role models of that standard through the Recognition Program
  3. To encourage continuous improvement through sharing of best practices and provision of feedback to communities on the performance excellence journey that will lead to better outcomes for the residents they serve.

Applications will be accepted through September 15th, 2017.  You can access instructions and deadlines, including the intent-to-apply requirements, on our website at

The Baldrige Program, and indeed the entire Baldrige community, are excited about helping communities achieve ever-higher levels of performance and improved quality of life for their residents. In fact, that is essentially the mission of the Baldrige Program: to benefit all U.S. residents through improved competitiveness. Until now, however, we have been focused on accomplishing that purpose through single organization. Partnering with Communities of Excellence 2026 enables us to carry out that mission on a much broader level, with the potential for greater reach and impact.

Robert Fangmeyer, Director

Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

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