Could digital gaming be used to retrain fast-food workers for better-paying waiter jobs in fancy restaurants? Could an Uber-like “sharing economy” app help freelance workers boost their income?

Today’s napkin sketches might well become tomorrow’s solutions to the challenges faced by the American working class. That’s the hope behind the Workers Lab, a first-of-its-kind incubator launched this past October with $1 million in start-up funding from the Service Employees International...

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