Ms. Ester is a public transit executive with more than 25 years of experience, including creating and leading high-quality, high-impact career development initiatives. She serves as vice president of training and workforce development for the Chicago Transit Authority, where she leads operations and safety training, along with career and leadership development initiatives for more than 11,000 employees.
She also creates transit-focused youth development programs and oversees CTA’s high school and college internship programs, while leading the agency’s Second Chance Program, a nationally recognized program that prepares returning citizens and others with barriers to employment to re-enter the workforce. Ester is a member of the City of Chicago Mayor’s Interagency Reentry Council. For APTA, she is vice chair of the Education and Career Awareness Subcommittee and serves on the Workforce Development Committee and numerous other subcommittees.
The National Transit Institute was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to develop, promote, and deliver training and education programs for the public transit industry. Its mission is to provide training, education, and clearinghouse services in support of public transportation and quality of life in the United States.