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Communities of Excellence 2026 Blogs

Meet our Newest Cohort of Communities

On October 3rd, Communities of Excellence 2026 kicked off its yearlong National Learning Collaborative with the addition of five new communities. 

You may recall that we had five communities working with us over the past five months to help us test and improve our Learning Collaborative Curriculum before our full launch.  These five communities:  Brookfield/Marceline, Missouri (now the Three Sixty-Five Community Alliance), Kanawha County, West Virginia, Maryville, Missouri, San Diego South Region, California and West Kendall, Florida all submitted their first level application for community recognition called the Commitment to Community Excellence.  Right now our teams of expert reviewers are reading their submissions and providing detailed feedback reports to help the communities accelerate their communities of excellence efforts.

Our five new communities are: 

Albany/Bethany, Missouri
The cities of Excelsior Springs, Gladstone and Smithville in Clay County, Missouri
The Greater Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Kings County, California
Toledo, Ohio

Over the next year all ten of these communities will work together on their Communities of Excellence journeys.  In two weeks representatives from all ten communities will be meeting in Tempe, Arizona during the Baldrige Fall Conference on October 26th and 27th.  If you will be attending that conference please look us up and introduce yourselves!  It’s going to be an exciting year.