RTA achieves gold-level recognition from The Partnership for Excellence

RTA has received the prestigious Gold Award for Commitment to Excellence from The Partnership for Excellence (TPE).

 RTA achieves gold-level recognition from The Partnership for Excellence

May 12, 2017

RTA has received the prestigious Gold Award for Commitment to Excellence from The Partnership for Excellence (TPE).

Awards were announced for six high-performing organizations in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia that are being honored for “performance excellence through innovation, results and visionary leadership using the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

This is a step up from 2015, when RTA received the Silver Award for Commitment to Excellence.

In June, RTA officials will receive a comprehensive report from a team of judges who visited Cleveland a few months ago. The report includes recommendations on ways that RTA can improve its programs and operations. Work will begin immediately to assess and prioritize opportunities for improvement where feasible.

Two years ago, the 2015 Feedback Report was very helpful. RTA senior leadership identified 12 actionable opportunities to improve processes, programs and results. The results? RTA staff is now implementing:

  • Employee engagement and satisfaction goals.
  • Market research, with a focus on customer satisfaction and improved ratings.
  • Budget and planning processes that align with the strategic plan.

RTA’s leadership team looks forward to the 2017 Feedback Report to update and align current organizational excellence initiatives with new opportunities. RTA officials will then re-apply and seek the highest rating – Platinum.

“This is a significant step in our journey toward the Malcolm Baldrige Award,” said RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese. “It’s the hard work and commitment to excellence exhibited by the 2,400 RTA employees every day that is making RTA one of the most well-respected public transit agencies in the nation.”


TPE is a three-state Baldrige-based awards program. TPE assists organizations using the internationally-recognized Baldrige Excellence Framework. The primary product is a comprehensive assessment that helps organizational leaders better understand and prioritize key strengths and opportunities for improvement. While the assessment is the foundation, TPE's main focus is on organizational learning, innovation, resource optimization, continuous improvement, and results.

All applicants are rigorously evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas:

  • Leadership.
  • Strategy.
  • Customers.
  • Measurement, analysis and knowledge management.
  • Workforce.
  • Operations.
  • Results.

The evaluation process includes more than 1,000 hours of review and a three-day visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the application.

An independent panel of judges reviewed each evaluation, approved the final feedback reports, and developed their award recommendations, which were approved by the TPE Board of Trustees.

TPE’s mission is to cultivate organizational performance excellence and continuous improvement. By providing a framework for performance excellence through the Baldrige methods, organizations have a greater focus on customers, process management, innovation, work systems and organization-wide results.

These organizations typically see lower costs, improved productivity and increases in both employee and customer satisfaction leading to growth in market share. The results are higher quality education, improved healthcare, job creation to build a stronger economy and more efficient and effective government, with enormous impact on the lives of thousands.

In closing

RTA will be among those honored at TPE's annual Quest for Success Conference, Sept. 11-12, in Columbus.

Media contacts: