WebEd: The $1.9 Trillion COVID-Relief Law: What Construction Firms Need to Know

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The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act—the new COVID-relief law—includes: significant amounts of federal funding that can be utilized for a wide variety of purposes; changes to federal tax law; and relief for multiemployer pension plans, among other things. But how much money goes to public and private construction investment projects? Will federal requirements attach to projects that use these funds? How should construction firms account for changes to tax law, recent updates to the Paycheck Protection Program, and multiemployer pension plans?  

During this webinar, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr, Vice President for Government Relations Jimmy Christianson, Senior Director for Infrastructure Advancement Alex Etchen, Senior Director for Building and Infrastructure Finance Matthew Turkstra and Senior Director for Human Resources, Labor and Safety James Young will help answer these questions and more.  


Stephen Sandherr
The Associated General Contractors of America

Stephen Sandherr joined the AGC of America staff in 1984 as Assistant Director of Collective Bargaining Services. From 1986 to 1989 he served as AGC’s Director of Congressional Relations. He practiced law with the firm of Thompson, Mann and Hutson in Washington, D.C., from 1989 to 1990, and served as Labor and Small Business Counsel for the National Association of Home Builders from 1990 to 1991. He rejoined AGC as Executive Director of Congressional Relations in 1991 and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 1997.  Currently, as Chief Executive Officer, his role is to maintain relations with AGC’s 90 chapters nationwide, coordinate government relations activities and enhance AGC’s involvement with business coalitions. A Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, listed Steve as a top lobbyist for the last ten years, representing the only commercial construction industry association on the Top Lobbyists of 2009 – 2019 lists. 
Steve has a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Scranton, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He earned his law degree from the Catholic University of America and is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia. 

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America

Jimmy Christianson leads the Associated General Contractors of America’s government relations efforts in Washington D.C., both on Capitol Hill and in the federal agencies.  Prior to joining AGC, Jimmy worked as an attorney for the international law firm of K&L Gates and as a government affairs specialist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Jimmy received his Bachelor of Arts degree with magna cum laude honors from the University of Pennsylvania and Juris Doctorate degree with cum laude honors from the University of Maine School of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Alex Etchen
Senior Director, Congressional Relations for Infrastructure Advancement 
The Associated General Contractors of America

Alex Etchen joined AGC in early 2021 as the Senior Director for Infrastructure Advancement. Prior to joining AGC, Alex served as Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  He served to advance the mission and goals of FHWA while working with Members of Congress and external external stakeholders. Prior to joining the Department, Alex worked in Congress for nearly seven years; first for a Member of Congress from Idaho and then on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. During his tenure on the Committee, he worked on the federal-aid highway portfolio and drafted provisions included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Matthew Turkstra
Senior Director, Congressional Relations for Building and Infrastructure Finance
The Associated General Contractors of America

Matthew Turkstra is Senior Director, Congressional Relations for Building and Infrastructure Finance. Matt joined AGC in June 2017, and oversaw the group's advocacy efforts during Congress's consideration of tax reform. He manages the AGC's participation in various coalitions and represents AGC's members before Congress and the Administration.  Prior to joining AGC in June 2017, Matt was the Senior Manager of Government Relations at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Matt has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, working as the Legislative Director for Rep. Nan Hayworth (NY), and the Senior Legislative Assistant for Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ). He also worked on the Committee on Ways and Means.

James Young
Senior Director, Congressional Relations for Labor, HR and Safety
The Associated General Contractors of America

James Young is the Senior Director of Congressional Relations for Labor, HR and Safety for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In this role, he works directly with members of the U.S. Congress, AGC members and press on a multitude of issues that directly affect the construction industry. Previously, Mr. Young worked for Direct Impact, a grassroots firm in Washington and Democracy Data and Communications which provides a comprehensive array of grassroots and political action solutions. Mr. Young began his career on Capitol Hill working for Congressman Benjamin Gilman (NY). 

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