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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 2 weeks ago

Former general contractor writes book to encourage kids to consider construction careers

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Retired remodeler believes too few young people are becoming carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other skilled laborers.

For several years, Kathy Guyitt had an idea for a children’s book brewing in her mind while working as a general contractor and remodeler in Southwest Florida.

The now-retired 63-year-old wanted to find a way to encourage kids to consider careers in the construction and trades industries, so she began drafting a story. She feels that too many children are pushed into attending college after high school and that too few young people are becoming carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other skilled laborers.

"Rita the Remodel Girl" is about a mother teaching her daughter, Rita, everything that goes into remodeling a home.

After finding a publisher, an editor and an illustrator through Mascot Books, Bonita Springs resident Guyitt recently printed the first 2,500 copies of her book, “Rita the Remodel Girl: A Summer Project Begins.”

Her tale, which Guyitt plans to be the first in a series of three books, is about a mother teaching her daughter, Rita, everything that goes into remodeling a home. The book uses many real-life situations Guyitt found herself in, including the same name of the company she owned, Golden Remodeling.

“Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Mom says I can be anything I want! This summer I’m going on an adventure with Mom to learn all about the world of home remodeling. Won’t you join me?” the book’s back cover says. “You’ll get to meet my golden retriever, Goldie, and Mom’s best friend, Donna the Designer. Mom and Donna have some great ideas, but they also have to rely on Team Golden to get the job done. Who’s on Team Golden? Well, you’ll have to start our summer project to find out!”

As a woman and former business owner in the male-dominated construction industries, Guyitt says she hopes her book can help “break the glass ceiling” that women face in the field.

Guyitt says she will be attending book signings and hopes to speak with Southwest Florida school district officials about getting her books in the hands of area children. The book is currently only available online on the publisher’s website.

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