On August 9, 2022, President Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which also authorized “Community” becoming the seventh category of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards. The bill authorizes communities across the United States to apply for, and receive, the highest-level of recognition for quality and performance excellence using the Baldrige Criteria. Award recipient communities will serve as national role-models and share their best practices, which will allow thousands of other communities across America to learn from them.
Tommy Gonzalez, City Manager of El Paso, Texas, formerly led the City of Irving, Texas to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award using the Nonprofit Criteria in 2012. He is a Board Member for Communities of Excellence 2026 and Chairs the Quality Texas Foundation. As Mr. Gonzalez has noted, “Engaging multiple organizations can take communities to the next level in the pursuit of excellence for the communities they serve. The City of El Paso has a history of collaboration that is rooted in growing opportunities and service excellence in our organization, and for our community. Through our award-winning Communities of Excellence (COE) efforts, we work collaboratively with over 40 organizations across our community, achieving better results, improving services, and changing people’s lives. Future Baldrige award-winning communities will serve as role models for others, spreading the possibilities created by the Baldrige model in ways not possible before.”
The Baldrige Framework and Criteria will help community leaders and organizations improve community performance related to governance, health and wellness, educational attainment, economic vitality, and overall quality of life. The Framework and Criteria utilize a “systems perspective” taking the most current leadership and management proven practices and turning them into a series of questions that help organizations leverage their strengths, overcome obstacles and challenges, and synchronize their organization to achieve their mission and reach higher levels of performance excellence.
“The Baldrige Foundation is exceptionally proud to support this great addition to the Baldrige Framework” said Al Faber, President and CEO of the Baldrige Foundation in Washington D.C. “The Baldrige Foundation provides organizational and administrative support to Communities of Excellence 2026 and is the sole sponsor of the COE Criteria and Framework. We have worked relentlessly to promote “Community” as the seventh category of the Baldrige Awards and have seen true, bipartisan support in Congress for this initiative. We look forward to scaling-up participation in communities nationwide and securing additional funding to help us drive success using the new Community Framework.”
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