It also provides more chances for students to show off their newfound skills in front of employers.
"Our activities put students in touch with employers," said Tom Holdsworth, director of communications and government relations for SkillsUSA.
"Just as important, we put employers in touch with students."
Employers recruit SkillsUSA students because students have shown interest in the field and learned the skills employers seek, he said.
In Utah, 2,662 students and professionals were involved this year in SkillsUSA, with 14 million students involved nationwide. More than 1,000 businesses sign up for SkillsUSA each year to observe students skills and employ them.
"This is one place that students are finding their passion for their careers, at SkillsUSA and career technical education," Holdsworth said.
"Students are finding what they're good at and what they want to do for their lives.
Ken Spurlock, principal of Canyon Technical Education Center, said the classes and programs help to put high school students in a better paying job now with the convenience to continue their schooling later.
In Smith's class, he persuades students to start thinking of the future.
"If you don't plan for the future you'll just kind of drift along a course of life and not really have much satisfaction there," he said. "You want them (students) to be goal oriented so that they'll actually set goals to try to accomplish something."
Depending on which field is being sought after, certificate students could make 75 percent higher than someone with an associate's degree.
Taking up a high-demand occupation, such as computer/information services, could earn between $55,664 to $72,498 per year. On average those that receive a bachelor's degree earn about $54,000, according to the Georgetown study.
- Airport TRAX ridership remains strong weeks...
- S.L. draws up airport plans
- Taking back family dinner: A healthy,...
- AIG CEO tells college graduates facing...
- Did you just win $590M? Get a good team in place
- Tesoro to buy Chevron pipeline near Willard...
- Writers offer personal finance advice to Obama
- Former middle-class moms choose new identity...
- Writers offer personal finance advice... 28
- Obama: 'Our focus cannot drift' from... 9
- West Davis Corridor project unveiled... 6
- Airport TRAX ridership remains strong... 6
- Tea party tax returns show small... 5
- IRS probe ignored most influential... 5
- AIG CEO tells college graduates facing... 5
- Former middle-class moms choose new... 4