Western Carolina University will host an aerospace and automotive workforce summit Friday in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall.

The summit will provide an open forum for manufacturers, educators, economic developers and others to discuss the needs of high tech industry and how to develop collaborative efforts in the 24 westernmost counties of North Carolina.

“Key topics during the morning panels will be strengthening the supply chain for aerospace and auto manufacturers, how to meet technical workforce needs and increasing economic development networking opportunities throughout the region,” said Jeffrey Ray, dean of WCU’s College of Engineering and Technology.

The summit begins at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast. Following the summit, tours will be offered in WCU’s Rapid Center, a research and development facility that partners with businesses, industry and entrepreneurs to develop new products and processes, utilizing high-tech engineering labs and equipment.

Confirmed panelists include representatives from Duotech in Franklin, Moog in Murphy and Borg-Warner Turbo in Asheville.

The summit is free, but registration is requested. To register, or for more information, email cet@wcu.edu or call 227-2158.