In 2017, Communities of Excellence 2026, in partnership with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, launched the Communities of Excellence Assessment and Recognition Program.
The program has three levels: Commitment to Community Excellence, Journey to Community Excellence and the Community of Excellence Recognition. Details including criteria for submission and deadlines are available here.
In parallel with Baldrige Program’s mission, the purpose of Communities of Excellence 2026 and the Assessment and Recognition Program is threefold:
- To develop a nationally recognized standard of community performance excellence
- To establish role models of that standard through the Recognition Program
- 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.
"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