There are 49 jobs at the La Salle Veterans' Home waiting to be filled.

Those who want them have to move fast. The goal is to fill them in 10 days.

Within the last week, a hiring logjam for the home was broken by Gov. Pat Quinn and Dan Grant, the new director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

The home needs registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and workers in the housekeeping, maintenance and dietary departments.

But Grant wants not only workers, but those who will be honored to serve veterans.

"There's a much higher sense of purpose in working in a place like this," Grant said Monday while visiting the home.

"You can come here and serve the people who have served us."

Grant said for new nurses the state jobs offer the incentive of the Nurses Loan Repayment Program, where up to $5,000 a year for four years will be repaid by the state on student loans.

State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the new hiring fast track was a big change from the state's formal hiring system, which could take up to six months to fill a single position.

"That's a huge distinction from what we've had in the past. We thank you for doing that, director."

"We don't know how you did it," joked State Sen. Gary Dahl, R-Granville.

But Dahl actually had an explanation to offer.

"It seemed liked the veterans were not a priority, and I think under Gov. Quinn that's going to reverse. Veterans will be a priority. He's been a strong advocate as you all know over the years for veterans. We're going to have the opportunity to finally make this happen."

Job details are available online at work.illinois.gov.

Applications are available at the home in La Salle.

For details call the home at 815-223-0303.

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