EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute announced Sept. 2 its purchase of a multi-level apartment building at 2914 S. Moreland Blvd. in Shaker Heights in an effort to expand student and alumni housing capabilities. 

Starting this fall after a brief renovation, the seven unit, 8,270-square-foot property will become part of the EDWINS Second Chance Life Skills Center, through a three-year financial commitment from KeyBank, according to a news release. The EDWINS Second Chance Life Skills Center launched in 2016 and gives enrolled students access to housing and other amenities like a gym, library, technology, learning facilities and other support services. 

“Cleveland is the nation’s second chance city and it’s essential that we demonstrate this concept to the core,” Brandon Chrostowski, founder, CEO and president of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, said in the release. “Providing continued opportunities for our students, post-incarceration, to reach that next level of autonomy and rehabilitation is essential and coming home each day to a home of their own is a key component of this. Additional Buckeye neighborhood property acquisitions have always been part of the plan for us, and this project comes at an especially important time.”

Amanda Petrak, KeyBank’s Northeast Ohio corporate responsibility officer, said in the release KeyBank is “honored” to support the work that EDWINS does in the Northeast Ohio community to education formerly incarcerated adults in the culinary and hospitality industries.

“Since its inception, EDWINS has provided hundreds of formerly incarcerated adults a foundation in the culinary and hospitality industry, and a support network necessary for their long-term success,” she said. “We are proud to help facilitate this expansion of their efforts that change lives and help Northeast Ohio thrive.”

The expansion of the EDWINS campus comes along with its curriculum roll out of 450,000 GTL tablets in prisons across the country in partnership with GTL, a corrections industry resource. The curriculum includes gastronomy, culinary math, menu prep, ServSafe certification exam preparation, Front of the House training, including drink preparation and bartending, and Back of the House training, including food selection and preparation. 

As participants complete the program, they earn a culinary degree and are invited, post-incarceration, to enroll at EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute for a six-month culinary arts education and training program. For out of state participants who want to relocate to Cleveland for the in-person course-work and rent-free living accommodations at Second Chances Life Skills Center, the Cleveland Browns have also committed to sponsoring travel for the first cohort, the release said.

““We are so fortunate to have the EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute based right here in Cleveland,” Peter John-Baptiste, Cleveland Browns/Haslam Sports Group’s senior vice president, communications, said in the release. “Their success in providing the necessary support and training with second-chance opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality space for formerly incarcerated individuals is a model that should be replicated. We are happy to help support their efforts to grow and expand the impact they’ve been making in Northeast Ohio to other parts of our state and even across the country.”


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