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Fists in Solidarity

Applying Baldrige principles in our Pacific Northwest communities

In 2021, Communities of Excellence 2026 (COE 2026) and Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW) began a strategic partnership and agreement to combine energies and bring a Community-Based Performance Excellence model to the Pacific Northwest.  Since 2013, the nonprofit organization Communities of Excellence 2026 (COE 2026) has brought communities across the nation together to use the evidence-based Baldrige Excellence Framework. The same Framework which was developed for the manufacturing, service, and small business sectors is now being applied within communities to improve how communities are run.

A Brief Timeline of Communities of Excellence 2026

Working Together
"We think this can work..."

In 2010, two former healthcare CEOs whose organizations won the National Baldrige Quality Award believed the Baldrige Framework could be effective in uniting sectors and leaders across a community and ultimately produce positive and sustainable results in key areas of community performance such as educational attainment, economic vitality, health, and safety. 

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What does COE do?

COE assists community leaders in implementing the Communities of Excellence Framework, which is adapted from a validated systems improvement framework – Baldrige. We believe this framework can improve health status, educational attainment, economic vitality, and quality of life for community residents by focusing on improving overall community performance. 

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How do we get started?

The best place to start is by meeting with PENW's Executive Director to answer your questions and get more information. You can visit the COE website. where you will find a few different ways to get started, including an annual conference, a 6-week introductory course in the Spring, and our flagship program, the National Learning Collaborative of Communities which begins every October. 

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