Cover photo for Mr. Henry Plotkin's Obituary
Mr. Henry Plotkin Profile Photo

Mr. Henry Plotkin

September 23, 1943 — November 4, 2017

Dr. Henry A. Plotkin, formerly the Executive Director of the State Employment and Training Commission (SETC) died peacefully on November 4, 2017 after a short battle with amyloidosis. He was 74 years old. He is survived by his wife, Susanne Peticolas, and son, Michael, his brother Charles and Charles’s wife Syd, as well as numerous nephews, nieces and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Sarah and Moe and his brother, Kenneth.
During his retirement, he continued to serve on the boards of CASA New Jersey and CASA of Middlesex County. CASA of New Jersey, Inc. is part of a national network of non-profit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. He also was serving on the Board of New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, a private, not–for-profit organization that improves the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers.
Dr. Plotkin served as the Executive Director of the SETC from March 1997 until his retirement in November of 2008. The SETC serves as the workforce policy arm of the Governor and the Legislature. In this capacity, Dr. Plotkin led multiple efforts, addressing such issues as welfare-to-work, school-to-work, gender parity, adult literacy, at-risk youth, among others. He was also the Administrator of the New Jersey Youth Corps Program in the Department of Community Affairs. The award-winning program provides high school dropouts community service work experience along with educational opportunities. Prior to his state service, Henry was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Livingston College, Rutgers University.
The New Jersey American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) honored him with the Public Administrator of the Year Award in 1999. The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) honored him with the GSETA Public Service Award in 2004. He received his PhD and MA from Rutgers University and his BA from Queens College.
Dr. Plotkin was the author of numerous articles and whitepapers, including a chapter in the book, “Transforming the US Workforce Development System,” titled “Creating a 21st-Century Workforce Development System” which he co-authored with former U.S. Secretary of Labor F. Ray Marshall. He also authored chapters in the series of books, “The Election of 1976,” “the Election of 1980,” and “The Election of 1984,” co-authored with Dr. Gerald Pomper and colleagues.
Henry grew up in Little Neck, New York, but he lived most of his life in New Jersey. He was an avid Yankees fan and sports enthusiast. Indeed he was nationally ranked in both fantasy baseball and fantasy football. He enjoyed nothing better than fine bourbon, dinner at Stage Left and lively political discussions, preferably all together.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday November 9, 2017 at 11 am at Crabial Park West Funeral Chapel, 239 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (732-828-2332). Interment will follow services at Beth Israel Cemetery Woodbridge NJ. In keeping with Dr. Plotkin’s wishes, a celebration of his life will be held immediately following interment.
There is no official Shiva, but the family will be receiving friends who wish to pay their respects on Saturday November 11 from 7-9 and Sunday November 12 from 1-4 and 7-9 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to CASA of New Jersey ( ) or CASA of Middlesex County ( )
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mr. Henry Plotkin, please visit our flower store.


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