March 04, 2001 11:00 pm

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Several employees at the closed Tum-a-Lum Lumber Co. have quickly rebounded from the ranks of the unemployed.

Manager Tom Case and four others, of the total of eight workers at the Greenwood Street location of Tum-a-Lum, are now working at All-Around Rental and Building Supply, said Case. He will be the yard manager, the same position he held for two years at Tum-a-Lum before it closed Feb. 22.

All-Around closed its doors in December, with all but one employee being placed in other jobs at Barreto Manufacturing. Greg Baretto owns All-Around. One All-Around employee was kept on to take inventory after the earlier closing. He is still working there.

Case, who will also be director of special projects, said All-Around was planning a full-blown opening today for the 60588 McAlister Road site, which is just off Interstate 84.

Case, who lamented the abrupt closing of Tum-a-Lum by owner Jim Crawford of Troutdale, said he hoped former Tum-a-Lum customers would patronize All-Around. Employees received no prior notice that the La Grande business was closing, Case said.

Crawford cited a poor lumber market for closing the La Grande store in an economic pullback. He closed a Hermiston store, shifting that inventory to Pendleton. The inventory at the La Grande site is still here, Case said.

People in the business said Crawford may have expanded too rapidly, with the opening of new outlets in Northern California and Nevada doubling the companys inventory. There are now eight Tum-a-Lums left in operation.

All-Around, which opened about two years ago, shut down Dec. 2 because there were too many competitors, Case said.

The business offers a wide variety of services, including house packages, commercial work and pole buildings, and it caters to the homeowner for remodeling and doing such things as adding decks, said Case.

We can do the same things that Tum-a-Lum did, but we have expanded services. For example, we can take fork lifts to sites for unloading and have other equipment to deal with large projects.

All-Around serves Union, Wallowa and Baker counties, Case said. Store hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.