PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new computer center is now open to the public in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, and city officials are hoping it will promote more computer awareness, especially in lower income neighborhoods.

Ten computers now line the walls of a small room at the Happy Hollow Recreation Center. City recreation commissioner Susan Slawson says it’s going to make a big difference in the lives of people in the neighborhood who are living on the other side of what’s called “the digital divide.”

“Nearly half of Philadelphia residents can’t afford broadband or Internet access,” Slawson said, “and ten years ago you could pick up a telephone and call and ask for an application for a job. If today you want a job, you need to be able to access your Internet, you need to be able to go on a computer.”

A total of 77 computer centers will be located throughout the city, and all are being bankrolled by President Obama’s stimulus money.

Other computer centers will be located at 29 community-based organizations and 15 affordable-housing sites, among other locations.

Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio 1060

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