Our Story

The Portage Private Industry Council, Inc. (PPIC),  doing business as Portage Learning Centers (PLC),  is a private, not-for-profit, 501 c(3) organization that was incorporated in 1983 to administer the federally funded Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) programs. PLC administered JTPA programs from 1983 through 2000, when the Workforce Investment Act replaced the program.

In 1997 PLC was awarded the State and Federal Head Start programs for Portage County. In 2010, PLC was awarded the Federal Early Head Start program.

At PLC, we provide high-quality, holistic services to the children and families of Portage County, Ohio.

Portage Learning Centers’ Mission

Our mission is to foster parents’ role as the principal influence on a child’s development through comprehensive services and community resource partnerships.

Head Start

Head Start, About Portage Learning Centers, About, Lady Bird Johnson, Head Start

Lady Bird Johnson reads to children in a photograph from the 1960s. She advocated for the Head Start program, which Jule Sugarman founded in 1965.

Head Start is a federal program that promotes children ages birth to 5 by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families. These services include health, nutrition, social services, and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments and education and cognitive development services.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

PLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider and does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, genetic information, religion, age, disability, military status, political affiliation, or beliefs in employment or the provision of services.

PLC reserves the right to expel or refuse to accept for further enrollment a child who we believe poses a threat to other children’s well-being and/or is abusive to staff.


We believe that each child is a unique individual, an individual of worth. We provide support and experiences that help children strive toward their potential. We expect children to explore and test their environment. Children develop and progress at their own pace. Children with special needs are integrated into the program at their level.

A child’s unique ideas of thought, creativity, and problem-solving are encouraged. Children’s age-level characteristics and developmental abilities are included in all activities.

Program Goals

Our goal is to provide families with a quality learning program that promotes children’s school readiness. We strive to achieve this goal by providing a learning environment that supports children’s growth in language, literacy, math, science, social and emotional skills, the arts, physical skills, play, and approaches to learning.

We provide children with a learning environment that helps them develop self-control, independence, and an understanding of the world around them. Our goal is to engage parents to be the best educators of their children by providing parent and family engagement activities grounded in positive, ongoing, and goal-oriented relationships.


Sherry PomeroyKathleen MilkenExecutive Director – Sherry Pomeroy, PhD  
Head Start Director – Kathleen Milliken


Michelle Cooley, Portage Learning Centers, AboutGerald Kline, Portage Learning CentersDirector of Education – Michelle Cooley
Director of Fiscal Operations – Gerald Kline


Kim Vojtkofsky, about, Portage Learning Centersabout, Jessica Sabin, Portage Learning CentersDirector of Support Service  – Kim Vojtkofksy
Director of Family Engagement – Jessica Sabin


Lisa MurtonKim Vojtkofsky, about, Portage Learning CentersHealth Coordinator – Lisa Murton
Early Head Start Home-Based Supervisor  – Kim Vojtkofky 


Erika McKibbenHuman Resource Specialist – Erika McKibben



Shari Farmer, about, Portage Learning CentersKimberly Snyder, About, Portage Learning Centers Transportation Coordinator – Shari Farmer
Special Services Coordinator  – Kimberly Snyder


Board of Trustees

Executive Committee

Pam Danner, Chairwoman and Program Planning Chairwoman

Rebecca Gorczyca, Vice Chairwoman, R&D Chairwoman, and Strategic Planning Chairwoman

Alan Balog, Treasurer and Finance Chairman

Cody Mazanek, Secretary, 

Marilyn Sessions, Personnel Chairwoman

Glenda Enders, Member-At-Large

Board Members

Mark Hettinger

Pamela Nation Calhoun

Penny Neiswanger

Rhonda Richardson

Dr. James Tinnin

Rebecca Cranston

Julie Burkhart

Patricia Restaine

Barbara Helmling

Legal Counsel: Jonathan P. Jennings


About, Portage Learning Centers

Policy Council Meeting in February 2020

PLC Head Start Policy Council is about a link to Parent Committees, Portage Learning Centers, public and private organizations, and the community.  They help by regularly attending Parent Committee meetings, giving oral and written reports of meetings and conferences attended, and upon request, representing the agency at meetings.

Parent Representatives

Ashley Justus – President

Frederick Parrott

Jazmaine Hudson

Cassi Copinksi

Bronwyn Sanders

Shaun Spriesterbach

Community Representatives:

Trevana Kominski, Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority

Angela Smith, Fair Housing Contact Services

Please contact Karen Johnson at our main office if you want to learn more about joining the Board of Trustees or Policy Council.