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Rachel Knight of Destination Occupation

You won’t want to miss this story. Rachel Knight was hours from closing her three-year-old business. She set up a meeting with her biggest client to break the bad news – she was going to have to close Destination Occupation.

But the client had news for her – that wasn’t going to happen.

Three years later, not only is Destination Occupation, which helps employers grow their workforce by introducing them to potential employees they’d never meet otherwise, still in business – the company is growing and thriving.

Founder & CEO Rachel Knight is a Maine native. She graduated from Bangor High School in 1982, and has an undergraduate degree from UMaine Orono in International Studies. In her late 20s she started horseback riding and volunteering with a therapeutic horseback riding program for people with disabilities. From that experience, she set a career course on special education and got a master’s degree in Exceptionality (Special Education).

In 1996, Rachel received her master’s from the University of Southern Maine and taught content area subjects (History and English) to students with disabilities and logged many hours helping students explore options for post­-secondary opportunities, a.k.a Transition Planning. It is from this experience that the idea of Destination Occupation was born. There are so many more opportunities and options for students than could ever be covered from high school field trips. So the idea of creating a library of videos for students “visit” a variety of businesses and educational programs from their high school felt like a deal changer, a “no brainer,” especially in a state as geographically challenged as Maine.

But the pivot, to find the pain point and figure out who the customer really was (hint: it’s not the school or the students) took years to determine.

Brought to you by the Maine Technology Institute.

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