Papercrete Works is a social enterprise program created by JCDS employees and clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Papercrete is a mixture of cement, water and recycled paper. The crew of clients and staff work together to pour it into molds to create products for sale such as picture frames, planters and decorative bowls. JCDS clients who participate in the program earn an hourly wage for mixing and pouring the papercrete, shredding newspaper to go into the mixture, finishing the products and working at art shows and events where the product is sold. Proceeds from the sales go back into the program.
The program received a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. This funding allowed JCDS to house the Papercrete Works studio at the InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park for six months.
As part of this grant, Papercrete Works is piloting the fabrication of park benches and has a commitment with Johnson County Park and Recreation District to install six benches in parks by the end of 2017.