Funny because I am a 36 year old COBOL developer and we have no gray beards on my team. We have close to fifteen COBOL developers and none of them are older than 50, with a median age of 34 between the group.
Also I have worked with a few gray beards in my time and I have found them to by polite and very knowledgeable. Some of which could write CICS programs that do more unique display routines than some of your current gui's.
If someone is truly interested in getting into COBOL for the first time your best bet is to find a company that will offer to train you. Most companies are realizing that developing the talent local and keeping things in house is actually cheaper than out sourcing as they will be able to retain the talent once the project is up and running and have an in house staff for support.
Another avenue might be to start inquiring with some of the major contracting companies, as they provide a large part of the workforce for open COBOL positions. Some of them have their own training programs.
Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.