International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

DOI: 10.61494/ijspe

Cultivating State Capacity to Build Our Nation’s Career Readiness Infrastructure: Leveraging Federal Support

Solberg, V. S. H., Park, C., Temurnikar, M., Esquivel, L., Donnelly, H., & Blake, M.


This study analyzes the language of five key federal legislative acts (ESSA, Perkins, HEA, YWRA, and WIOA) to identify opportunities to leverage federal support and resources more effectively in strengthening career readiness initiatives. Using Individualized Career Plan (ICP) as a framework, a two-step data analysis process combining thematic analysis and artificial intelligence was employed to examine the legislative language. Our findings indicate that while all of the legislative acts share common goals of promoting the future workforce, notable discrepancies exist in areas of focus and the extent to which they fund activities centered around comprehensive career advising and individualized career planning. The results indicate that WIOA provides the most detailed guidance for the seven components of quality ICPs and therefore can be used as model policy language for the other legislative acts. The model language provides insights and recommendations for policymakers to consider when making legislative amendments.